Exported sand could be used for phones and TVs
A MINING company that operates at Coonarr has achieved a major export breakthrough for the region.
A ship left the Bundaberg Port on Saturday loaded with the first export cargo of silica sand to pass through the facility.
Earth Commodities group general manager Darren Wardle said the export of 10,500 tonnes was a trial.
But after two years of discussions and negotiation, the Bundaberg sand mining operation had achieved a major coup for the region.
"Earth Commodities Australia has secured a significant export arrangement with one of the leading foundry/resin coated sand suppliers in Japan and South East Asia," he said.
"The Earth Commodities sand was primarily chosen for its high silica content and can be used in foundry and glass production markets."
Mr Wardle said Australia supplied 90% of the silica sand used to produce the world's flat TV screen and smart phone market.
"The high quality of this produced sand represents an exciting opportunity for the Bundaberg region to compete on the world stage," Mr Wardle said.
"This achievement follows significant investment in the upgrade of the Earth Commodities processing plant to improve capacities."
Mr Wardle said along with the newly acquired Occupational Health and Safety accreditation of the sand mine, which complemented the already established Quality accreditation, potential market sources were able to recognise Earth Commodities' excellent management systems to be to certified international standards.
"In addition; the assistance, guidance and support of the Port of Bundaberg is highly regarded and appreciated in enabling the success of this new export venture," he said.
Mr Wardle said the first shipment was a trial of the facility.
But he said the company was looking at other opportunities.
"A successful shipment could mean the establishment of long term contracts and the potential of other export opportunities that could create more jobs in the region," he said.
"It also stands to pave the way for other exporters to use the resources of the Port of Bundaberg; which would also have significant benefits for the region."
The sand mine operates on 416ha at Coonarr.
The company says the product is a pure white material from the upper and lower levels of the site.
It consists of silicon dioxide at about 99.8% of the sand, with traces of aluminium oxide and iron oxide.