Plasterboard Filler will comprise 10.9% of Kaolin products and 0.9% of all products produced by the Project at full production levels.
This section of the building industry, manufacturing various types of plasterboard, represents a good niche market for Newnes Junction unrefined kaolin. The proximity of SCM's proposed processing plant in the Western Sydney area to several of the large users of filler kaolin, such as La Forge, CSR, and James Hardies, provides a significant transport advantage. The brightness of the unrefined kaolin, suitable particle size distribution, and homogeneity makes it an excellent competitor for the kaolin types in current usage. Some customers blend with alumina trihydrate to improve its fire-resistant properties.
The current domestic source operated by Unimin at Gulgong is rapily approaching depletion. Increased volumes of overburden at the Gulgong site have begun to and will continue to make further extraction uneconomic. The SCM deposit at Newnes Junction will come on-line at just the right time to enusre continuity of supply to users of this product.
The steady supply to local Sydney users growing to 10,000 tpa over six years is a conservative marketing goal in a price range of AUD180-200/tonne. It will be important to be able to deliver in pneumatic tanker to gain this business, but this should pose no problem.
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