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P: 07 3335 3000 F: 07 3335 3227


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The aging Kandos Cement Plant has been struggling to survive in recent years because of high fixed costs and outdated inefficient technology despite its owner, Cement Australia, investing $10 million in upgrading the plant in 2007. Cement Australia still had difficulty in attracting and keeping experienced staff. These drawbacks, along with the constant problem of being located a considerable distance from its market, a fact that seriously undermined its competitiveness, finally forced its closure in September 2011 after producing cement at the same plant for 97 years.

The Kandos Cement Plant was the reason the small mid-west New South Wales town of of Kandos came into existence just before the start of the First World War. Other than agriculture, the cement works and its associated limestone quarry remained the mainstay of industry at Kandos until their closures in 2011.

The establishment of the town of Kandos began in May 1913 just before the outbreak of the First World War, when the NSW Cement Lime and Coal Company was registered and purchased the land for both the plant and the town. The town Kandos being purposely built to support the creation of the Kandos Cement Plant. The contract to supply the machinery for the plant went to Freid Krupp Limited of Bremen, Germany. It appeared that the beginning of hostilities was going to stop any further advancement of the project as the declaration of war saw the first kiln held up in South Africa on the way out to Australia from Germany.

Kandos was chosen to be home to the cement works because of the nearby limestone quarry, plenty of water and availability of coal, although, there were advanced plans to build a copper smelter on the site at around the same time to smelt copper mined at Cobar, because of the abundance of coal. In fact, a room at the cement plant carried the signage “CSA” throughout the years of cement production.

At the time the Kandos Cement Plant was being planned, Europe was one of the worlds foremost cement producers with most of the equipment used in cement plants being manufactured in Germany. The making of cement is also a chemical process that requires a lot of expertise and at the time most of that expertise also came from Germany.

Kiln number two had already been delivered to the Kandos Cement Project and this kiln had to come on line before kiln number one that was held up in South Africa on the way out because of the outbreak of war.

Despite the setbacks the Kandos Cement Plant finally got underway as it was self sufficient as far as raw materials were concerned. It had its own coal for heat production, its own limestone quarry and Dunns swamp was dammed to provide the water. This meant Australia's need to import German cement had been stopped and building construction in Sydney could continue. The Kandos Cement Plant went on to provide the much needed cement used in the building of Sydney homes and office blocks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Underground Railway and the Opera House.

The Australian Government made the decision that Australia needed its own cement production facility in 1912. At the time Australia was importing its cement from Germany. The Kandos Cement Plant totally eliminated all German imports of cement into Australia.

Cement Australia

Over 1100 employees working for Cement Australia


Cement Australia
18 Station Avenue
Darra, QLD 4076

PO Box 1328
Milton, QLD 4064


Phone07 3335 3000
fax07 3335 3227

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