The site of one of the largest limestone deposits west of the Blue Mountains once earmarked for the glass industry is now going to benefit primary producers.
Westlime’s Canowindra Limestone Mine was officially opened by Industry Minister Niall Blair this week who said it a was a “local project with benefits to locals”.
“Unlike other resources that are shipped overseas or interstate, this mine will service locals,” Mr Blair said.
“Another economic opportunity to a regional community in a drought is certainly welcome."
Mr Blair said mine was sensitive in its opening and would limit the visual impact and dust within the community.
He added it was a large deposit, which would benefit agriculture for many decades to come.
“There were a lot of farmers at this mine opening,” Mr Blair said.
Westlime is Australian family owned business run by brothers Andrew and Nick Commins with their parents Aidan and Elizabeth.
Andrew Commins said planning for the limestone mine commenced in 2004 when the company obtained an exploration licence for the site at Canomodine Lane, Canowindra.
A development application was lodged with Cabonne Council in 2015 and quarry construction commenced in August 2017.
The quarry is licenced to produce 250,000 tonnes per annum of super fine, high purity limestone for agricultural application and road construction products to meet the highest Roads and Maritime Services specifications.
Twelve quarry staff have been employed, and more than 20 contractors were engaged for the construction of the quarry.
“The quarry will service farmers both locally and throughout NSW, as well as government and private bodies involved in road construction,” Mr Commins said.
Westlime's Canowindra Limestone Mine is an addition to the Westlime Parkes facility, which has been operational since 1999.
The company purchased Parkes facility, a former BHP London-Victoria Gold Mine nearly 20 years ago and uses its gold processing technology to produce a higher quality and finer product, free from contamination.
The opening of the Canowindra mine was attended by some 90 clients, suppliers, consultants and industry stakeholders.