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Tenders sought for family-run, expansive NSW quarry site


Balala Pit Quarry, located in the New England region of New South Wales, has been put up for sale by real estate agency MacDougall Rural Property.

The Balala Pit Quarry is situated on a 37ha property and has been providing granite and sand aggregates across three decades.

Located just 22km west of Uralla, the land was first bought by brothers Dan and Thor Ward in 1980 under their company Ward Bros Land Improvements, growing superfine merino wool and running Angus cattle.

The Uralla Shire council approached the Ward brothers in 1984 to test boring for road base and sand on the proposed pit area.

After discovering such significant granite and sand material available, the council first used the material as part of new road construction and road repairs.

“We realised there was good material there to be used for building farm roads,” Dan Ward told Quarry. “We started off in a small way doing earthmoving work and then it grew. It just all worked in pretty well.”

Ward Brothers and Uralla Shire then started the Balala granite and sand pit in 1989. Dan was later appointed the mine manager and was responsible for its operation, and has continued to keep the quarry in operation together with site foreman Dave Hedges. Dan has worked hard alongside his brother Thor to turn the quarry into an essential part of supporting the local area.

The council regularly used its granite as a DGB layer under bitumen, on road construction and for repair work in the council area. Its granite resources have also become common in house and shed foundation underlays in the building industry. The granite is also used in driveways and farm roads.

Sand product from the Balala pit is used for concrete work, horse arenas, pipe fill and foundations.

Thor Ward retired from the quarry due to ill health, with Dan continuing to run the business to the present day. Sadly, Thor passed away in April, which has resulted in the decision to sell the Balala pit.

The Balala pit has a deposit of granite, gravel and sand material between 485,000m3 and 500,000m3 available, as reported by a geotechnical survey. “We will be providing further information to prospective tenderers,” Dan said.

For Dan, the location of the quarry in the New England/North West region of New South Wales provides a golden opportunity for the buyer.

“I think the location of it is one important thing and the quality of the material,” he said. “The B-double trucks can pick up and go straight to town or further to field.”

The Balala pit is well placed to supply materials to a wide array of infrastructure projects on the horizon, including RMS roadworks, an industrial development near Armidale, works on a projected solar farm near Uralla and wind farms in the Walcha area.

It is being sold as a unit complete with sand process plant and gen-set – all of which are operational. This includes a washing plant rated at 80 to 90 tonnes per hour and a crusher with 90 to 100 tonnes per hour. A caravan complete with fittings as an office will also be sold with the quarry, along with a workshop container, oil container, gen shed and water tank.

Tenders for the sale of the Balala pit will close on Thursday, 15 October. For all inquiries, please contact Graham MacDougall, of MacDougall Rural Property, tel 0412 220 302, or visit macdougall.com.au

The Balala Pit Quarry.
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