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P: 08 8625 3750 F: 08 8625 3147


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About: The mining of gypsum first started at the Lake Macdonnel mine in 1919 and by 2002 it was producing over one million tonnes of gypsum a year. Gypsum Resources Australia (GRA), a company jointly owned by Boral and CSR, have owned the mine since 1984. The mine, which is situated between Penong and Ceduna in Western South Australia, is situated within the biggest deposit of gypsum anywhere south of the equator. It has been estimated the gypsum deposit at Lake Macdonnel to be between 500 and 700 million tonnes, covering an area of 87 square kilometres. The current production from the mine being just over one million tonnes annually.

Gypsum Taken From Lake Macdonnel to Sydney
The gypsum at the Lake Macdonnel mine comes from a deposit of gypsarenite containing 93 percent gypsum calcium suphpate. This deposit lies above five metres of selenite that contains between 94 and 96 percent gypsum calcium sulphate. The gypsum recovered from the strip mining of the deposit is bulldozed into long windrows where it's kept for several years to allow the natural rainfall to leach out the salt content. When free of salt the gypsum is railed 64 kilometres from the mine site to a small port at Thevenard for loading, by conveyor, onto ships for transportation to large storage bins at Glebe Island in Sydney, from where it is distributed to the company's various customers within Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Mining at Lake Macdonnel a Simple Matter

Mining at the Lake Macdonnel gypsum mine follows the simple process of raising the easy deposits with bulldozers. Excavators are used to dig out the rock like deposits. Front end loaders, semi-tippers and triple road trains are used within the mine site itself because of its vastness. The salt free gypsum is finally railed to the port stockpile of some 160,000 tonne to await loading onto ships.

Gypsum mined at Lake Macdonnel accounts for nearly all of Australia's gypsum production and it satisfies the Australian market requirement of gypsum in the production of cement, plasterboard and for use in agriculture. It is taken from the South Australian port of Thevenard by the company's own ships, Orninston and Kowulka and various charter vessels. The mine creates about 40 jobs for local people, mainly living in Ceduna.

Three trains a day, each one carrying 1,850 tonnes of gypsum, operate every day of the week between the Lake Macdonnel mine and the port at Thevenard where the ships are loaded at a rate of 970 tonnes an hour. As the port restricts ships to carrying no more that 20 thousand tonnes of gypsum each, shipping from the port entails the use of between 75 and 80 ship visits every year.

Modernisation Plans for More Efficient Future
GRA are to place a new crushing plant at the mine as well as replacing mobile and extraction equipment. They are also looking at replacing the current ships and maximising the lift at the port in an effort to increase the average shipping out of the port facility to either 29 or 34 thousand tonnes per ship to increase the mine's ongoing viability.

Gypsum Resources

USG Boral is a 50% shareholder in Gypsum Resources Australia (GRA) which owns and operates one of Australia’s largest economic natural gypsum resources. In early 2014, Boral’s Gypsum came together with USG to form a 50/50 joint venture known as USG Boral. With close to 3,500 employees, more


Gypsum Resources
1 Innes Avenue
Thevenard, SA 5690


Phone08 8625 3750
fax08 8625 3147

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