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Quarry generates interest among buyers

Located on a 3.49ha allotment in the Whitsunday region, the quarry currently distributes several types of product, including hard rock, fill and waste materials, and is consented to extract up to 100,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of material.

While the quarry’s historical annual sales have been up to 125,000 tpa – including some imported materials – in recent years the annual output has been around 50,000 tpa, with about 340,000 tonnes of reserves estimated to remain.

According to Offermans Partners, which is acting as receiver and manager for the quarry, the declining performance has been a result of weather events and fluctuations in the Airlie Beach property market.

The property includes various infrastructure, such as a weighbridge office and a workshop. It is also fitted with site fencing, gates and gravel access roads, and various landscape improvements have been made to accommodate the operation.

The quarry will be sold with all of its plant and equipment, comprising excavators, a wheel loader, grader, tanker, tipper, compressor, mobile crushing and screening plant, as well as a four-wheel drive vehicle. 

Expansive interest
Adrian Pascoe, director at Ray White Commercial Townsville – which is marketing the quarry on behalf Offermans Partners – told the Townsville Bulletin that quarry operators were amongst the parties that had shown interest in the property.{{image2-A:R-w:250}}

“It’s early days yet but we have had quite a considerable number of inquiries,” he said.

Pascoe reportedly attributed the interest to a surge in new development activity within the region – including prospects for coal mining developments in the Galilee Basin – as well as the five per cent increase in property values experienced over the past year.

An Offermans Partners spokesperson added that the quarry had been marketed not only within Australia, but also as far as China through online channels.

“Interest has been expressed from a cross-section of the community both within and out of the mining industry,” the spokesperson told Quarry.

Expressions for interest for the quarry will close on 23 October 2014.

Quarries for sale – a growing trend
The Whitsunday quarry is one of many to go under the hammer in Australia over the past 12 months. These have included large operations – such as the Angaston limestone quarry that was acquired by Adelaide Brighton in July this year after Penrice Soda Holdings went into voluntary administration – as well as smaller operations like Brown’s Lime Quarry, whose retiring owner said the quarry started out not as a business but simply to supply his own farm.

Quarry is also aware of two other quarries that will soon be available for sale, the details of which will appear in the October issue.

Alan Robertson, director of quarry consulting and valuation firm Ausrocks, speculated that an increase in quarry sales in Queensland could relate to flow-on effects from the cyclones and floods the state experienced between December 2010 and early 2012.

Robertson explained that at the time, the Queensland Government’s reconstruction efforts meant capital expenditure was available to quarries to increase short-term supply of materials but that this was soon cut due to concerns surrounding the high government debt.

“Capital infrastructure for mining was at an end, so a number of quarries that had ‘geared up’ for boom times did not reach their market targets,” Robertson said. “These were most likely efficient quarries that may not have been able to repay the additional borrowed capital expenditure to boost their production due to the reduction in state government expenditure.”

More reading
Cement giant buys Angaston quarry
“Green” quarry up for sale

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