Newcastle Sand is a mining operation located in Williamtown, New South Wales, Australia, that is currently extracting dune sand and processing it for the construction materials market. The company supplies some of the largest concrete producers in the Hunter Valley with construction-grade sands, including white silica sand, washed sand and concrete sand.
When Newcastle Sand commenced operations in 2019, the company opted to dry wash its sand products with an air separator. However, rainy days would put a damper on the dry process, so Newcastle Sand purchased a small-scale wash plant consisting of a small screw washer.
In 2020, Newcastle Sand experienced an increase in demand for washed sand. The company supplemented its small screw washer by adding a higher-volume wash plant to increase production.
But even with the two wash plants, the smaller one and the higher-volume plant, Newcastle Sand was still struggling to meet the demand for washed sand.
“We sought to find a screw washer that could increase our production to keep up with the current market demand,” said Quarry Manager Eliott Laver.
Laver had a previous relationship with Lincom, McLanahan’s dealer for aggregate wet processing equipment in Australia, prior to joining the Newcastle Sand team. Working with Lincom and McLanahan, Newcastle Sand installed a McLanahan Fine Material Double Screw Washer and UltraDRY Modular Dewatering Screen.
“We assessed all the options in the market, and we chose McLanahan based on the ability for McLanahan to work with us to give us the confidence that this product, this machine, is going to do the output required,” said Murray Towndrow, one of the owners of Newcastle Sand.
Towndrow added that the sales process was very collaborative, with all parties providing information and feedback to ensure the right wash plant was chosen to handle Newcastle Sand’s product demands.
“They worked with us to solve a problem,” he said. “They really just gave us confidence that this size plant was going to do what we needed it to do.”
Towndrow said he was “exceptionally happy” with McLanahan throughout the sales and commissioning process.
“They’ve worked with us, not against us, and that’s probably the biggest strength that we’ve had,” said Towndrow. “They just haven’t given us a plant and said, ‘Here you go, good luck,’ they’ve been with us to make sure that this thing works.”
The McLanahan Fine Material Screw Washer washes, classifies and dewaters Newcastle Sand’s washed sand product, while the UltraDRY Dewatering Screen removes excess moisture from the final product. An integrated Sump underneath the UltraDRY Dewatering Screen captures the water that is removed from the sand product and recirculates it back to the Screw Washer via a Pump to aid in the washing process.
Since installing the McLanahan wash plant, Newcastle Sand has more than doubled its production.
“That allows us to produce more quality washed sand product,” Laver said.
With the UltraDRY Dewatering Screen reducing the moisture content of the final product, Laver said Newcastle Sand is able to sell the product straight from the belt, minimizing stockpile requirements.
“Being able to sell our material straight off the belt rather than stockpiling and letting our material dry allows us to reduce the amount of haul times, reduce our product movement or handling,” explained Laver.
In addition to being able to sell the product more quickly, Newcastle Sand has experienced additional benefits from the UltraDry Dewatering Screen, such as improved site housekeeping and recirculation of water back to the wash plant.
“The McLanahan UltraDRY Dewatering Screen allows us to keep our stockpiles clean and tidy,” Laver said. “We have less water runoff, and we’re able to harvest that water and reuse it in the wash plant.”
He added, “We’re able to recover up to 90% of the water from our washing process. In turn, we recycle that water, reducing our environmental footprint in the location.”
Towndrow said the McLanahan Wash Plant is an integral part of their business. It gives Newcastle Sand the confidence to seek out new customers in the market space and to sell a higher quality of product to keep its customers happy. That confidence comes not only from the reliability of the McLanahan Wash Plant, but also from McLanahan’s continued service and support.
“When we assessed all of the other options, I’m fairly confident in saying that we would not have gotten the support from any other brand like we have with McLanahan,” he said. “They’ve been right there beside us the whole way through this, and that’s ensured that we’ve got a great outcome and a great plant that we’re going to use for the rest of our resource.”
Laver was equally pleased with the service and support from both McLanahan and Lincom.
“Since purchasing the McLanahan Fine Material Screw Washer and UltraDRY Dewatering Screen, McLanahan and Lincom have both been here with us every step of the way, providing assistance wherever required as well as on-site visits to check up,” said Laver.
Towndrow continued, “I can confidently say that in choosing McLanahan, we’ve had the best pre-purchase advice and recommendations that followed through during the delivery and construction process of the plant. What you see today is a genuine collaboration between Newcastle Sand and McLanahan to get a plant that’s the right size, that works for us, and is going to be reliable and give us consistent material.”