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The Rivergum guru helps Metromix to shine


A sand washing specialist is supporting an aggregates business in New South Wales. With the right equipment and a lifetime of know-how, Rivergum Industries has enabled the growth of businesses near and far. 

Teralba Quarry has operated just outside Newcastle since 1964. It provides construction materials to the Hunter, Central Coast and Sydney regions. 

Operated by Metromix since 1986, the site produces fine and coarse aggregates well suited to road making, concrete and construction, as infrastructure has continued to boom in New South Wales.

But supplying these resources to integral projects like a major miner’s site remediation project or the Kooragang wharf terminal project takes top notch management and reliable equipment. 

Thanks to the expertise afforded by a relationship with Rivergum Industries, Metromix can supply the cleanest of aggregates for when clients demand the best. 

Working out of Engadine, south of Sydney, Rivergum has supplied sand and aggregate washing equipment to the construction industry for more than 20 years. With that experience, of course, comes a lifetime of knowledge on how to get the best out of the equipment.

Jim Hankins is the managing director of Rivergum and the brains behind his company’s quality sand washing service. 

Metromix Teralba Quarry supervisor Darryn Bosch said Hankins was able to fine tune his machines until the outcome was just right for the job. 

“They provide us with the equipment as well as wear parts to help maintain the equipment,” Bosch said.

“Jim’s always got a bit of ingenuity about himself. He likes to improve and look at ways to improve our current washing plant. He’s usually coming to me with different ideas for process improvement.”

Rivergum Industries helped to supply and optimise a blade mill to Metromix Teralba.

While Rivergum’s equipment is supplied by three notable third parties – FL Smidth, Superior Industries, and Manufacturer’s Equipment Co – the value is truly added by Hankins’ bespoke solutions. 

Bosch mentioned a time when this approach worked wonders for Metromix, as Hankins devised an open flow reducer to improve efficiencies.

“A good example of this was when he came up with a new rubber lining for a pipe which comes out of a screen and goes into a pump,” Bosch said. 

“It’s in a high wear environment so Jim contacted one of his suppliers and they trialled this ceramic lining to improve its resistance and it has worked really well for us.”

Whether it’s an attachment like the new lining, or simply a fresh way to position the plant, Bosch was adamant the quarry performance has improved with the support of Hankins. 

“Rivergum supplied our blade mill and part of the installation had a few minor issues where we needed some higher quality out of the end product,” Bosch said. 

“So, Jim came along and suggested we try to get a bit more height out of the plant, helped us to reconfigure it, and we got just the result we were after.”

For Metromix, the relationship with Rivergum was sealed years ago. Not quite as far back as the formation of the business itself but certainly to 2013 when Teralba Quarry manager Muhammad Yunusa first met Hankins. 

From student to supervisor, Yunusa thanks Hankins for the assistance he has provided himself and the people at Metromix. 

“When I first worked for Metromix, I was an engineering intern and I worked closely with Jim as he helped me to finish my thesis on optimising the crushing plant,” Yunusa said. 

“As he mentored me, he gave me some sound advice and references on what would be suitable for our needs, and that ended up helping with things like selecting the blade mill. 

“Using Jim’s advice, we looked at the pros and cons around what kind of material we put through it. 

“He talked me through things like rotary scrubbers, trommel screens, blade mills, log washers, aggregate screws, and gave me a wealth of knowledge being a young graduate. 

“From there, we ended up getting a blade mill and it’s ended up largely being a success.”

The Metromix team said Hankins would even go as far as taking samples of the quarry away to work on fine-tuning the final product for them. 

Bosch and Yunusa both said they were proud to contribute to the various projects in their region with their fingerprints on them. 

But of course, none of it would be near as simple without the fingerprints of Rivergum Industries and Jim Hankins. •

This article appears in the October issue of Quarry Magazine.

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