UK: a new sand plant improves efficiency and reduces environmental impact

UK: a new sand plant improves efficiency and reduces environmental impact
Published: 19 May 2010

A new sand production plant is helping Cemex UK, the building materials supplier, boost efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of its largest UK sand and gravel quarry at Rugeley, Staffordshire.


Its latest investment, a plant produced by American quarry equipment specialist manufacturer, Greystone, and the first of its type installed in the UK, is capable of producing up to 200t of sand per hour depending on the type of deposit.


At Rugeley three main grades of washed sand are produced.  The predominant production is a concrete sand of particles measuring less than 4mm suitable for use in readymix concrete and concrete product manufacture. Building sand consisting of aggregate sized from 2mm is produced for the mortar market and a fine sand grade for a variety of construction uses is the third product which comprises anything sized below 500um. 


The plant’s ability to produce more efficiently means that the quarry is able to recover more saleable material without increasing the level of extraction from the site, thus extending the life of the reserves.


“Gaining permission to extract sand and gravel is becoming ever more difficult. Although a very significant resource there is still a finite life at Rugeley and we mustn’t take this for granted.


“The new plant enables us to recover the maximum amount of saleable product with minimum wastage. The deposit at Rugeley is deep and consolidated and this new plant allows us almost infinite flexibility to meet our customers specifications“ comments Stuart Keighley, Regional Director.


The plant is computer controlled with the extracted material travelling through a series of crushers, washers and screens and is sorted through an array of 27 valves.  These can despatch precise quantities of separate grades of sand to exact individual requirements by the operator tailoring the mix at the control centre.


The plant has been commissioned and is now supplying material to local businesses and construction projects.