Gravel company escapes crunch

IAN Robinson is clearly not worried about any economic downturn.

The Moura Sand and Gravel manager is about to kick-start some grand plans to put the company at the forefront of the gravel industry.

Mr Robinson has convinced owner Bruce Hood to push ahead with a half-million-dollar investment in a new crushing plant at the company's Fairview Road Quarry, near Banana, despite the global financial crisis.

“I've been pushing for this decision for some time,” he said.

Mr Robinson said it was time to upgrade the outdated plant, and the new crusher would mean re-configuring the whole plant.

He said it would allow Moura Sand and Gravel to make top-grade gravel more efficiently.

The manager estimated it would improve efficiency by at least 25%.

“We want good quality and a good reputation.

“We had to think outside the square,” he said.

The new crusher, a Sandvik CH430 Cone made in Sweden, is set to arrive soon from New Zealand.

Mr Robinson said it would take about a month to set up, change the plant around and produce the best quarry products.

He said it would put the company up with the best gravel producers in the state, and see them seek more work outside Banana Shire, with the idea to extend the use of their mobile machinery.

Mr Robinson said their long-term business plan from the plant upgrade included targeting other nearby shires such as Roma and the Central Highlands.

He said the company's mixed income, which relied on about 30% from Dawson Mine, meant the mining downturn had not severely impacted them.

Moura Sand and Gravel had recently put on three employees, with a host of applicants for the jobs, a big difference from past vacancies when many looked to the mines for work.

The upgraded plant would see the company employ another two workers and help keep the other four employees at Fairview.

Moura Sand and Gravel will have a stand at the Queensland Resources Exhibition (QREX), held at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on July 21 to 23.

“Moura Sand and Gravel see QREX to be an enormous opportunity to not only put us on the map but to establish new business contacts and nurture existing business relationships.”

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