Monday, 12 June 2017

Just how many products can a mobile processing plant produce?

Aggregate Industries wants to take any material it wins from Straitgate to Hillhead to be processed - not with fixed plant, but with mobile plant similar to that above. In its Reg22 request, DCC wants to know:
It is understood that the mobile processing plant installed at Hillhead Quarry is incapable of maintaining the product range offered by the Blackhill Plant. If the resource at Straitgate and its potential product range is economically important then can the applicant explain why this proposal is not premature until such time as there is sufficient processing capacity to deliver the most efficient use of this diminishing resource? 8.4
Who wouldn't be surprised if AI came back with some riposte about the wonders of modern mobile processing plants, and about just how many products state-of-the-art equipment can now produce? Which is why this recent article, "Little Paxton Quarry brought back to life", is interesting. It tells how one of AI’s sand and gravel quarries in Cambridgeshire has lain dormant for the past six years, until modern mobile processing plant was brought in. It tells how:
Having been operational for eight months, the plant is currently processing up to 200 tonnes/h to produce +75mm, 75–40mm, 40–20mm, 20–10mm and 20–5mm products, as and when required, as well as soft and sharp sands.
In other words, AI’s modern plant in Cambridgeshire can produce not "14 different finished products" but six - which backs what AI has said about Straitgate all along, that "mobile processing plant would severely restrict the output and product range".

So, let’s get this straight: AI proposes to haul Straitgate material an unsustainable 23 miles - 2.5 HGV million miles in total - to a location that’s further away from its target market - adding another million HGV miles or so - to a mobile plant producing a restricted range of products, a plant that can’t make the best or most sustainable use of "this diminishing resource".

Surely this can’t be the same company that crows:

Surely this can’t be what Devon’s newly adopted Minerals Plan had in mind when it promised:

... a Plan that apparently "emphasises the need to conserve mineral resources for future generations", not squander "this diminishing resource" at the earliest opportunity.