Conundrum Holdings – Stawell Quarry

By on May 26, 2016
Cover Photo Issue 86 - Conundrum Holdings - Stawell Quarry

BRIAN CALOVIC, Quarry Manager for Conundrum Holdings Stawell Quarry reports on the development of the quarry and its importance to local businesses.

Located in Western Victoria at Mt. Drummond, Stawell Quarry is a family owned and operated business and has been a major supplier of materials to the Western Region for over two decades. The site has an onsite NATA approved laboratory. The hornfels source rock produces high quality rail ballast, sealing and concrete aggregates, beaching, filter materials and crushed rock including road base materials.

The quarry has supplied quality products to support local business/shires. Local quarries are crucially important in ensuring the survival of local businesses/shires in regional areas. Major projects where Council/Quarry cooperation produced an outcome include Wartook and Bellfield Reservoirs, Western Highway Kiata upgrade, Armstrong deviation, Rail Ballast for the ARTC, Horsham Airport, Stawell Airport upgrades and the Dooen Intermodal Freight Hub. Prior to acquisition by Conundrum in 1995 the quarry was owned and operated by CRB/VicRoads with contract crushing by R.F. Kerr Quarries the forerunner to Conundrum Holdings Pty Ltd. Brian Calovic joined the Conundrum team at the Northern Quarries site in the north of Melbourne in 1995. Originally employed as a loader operator he was able to learn all aspects of quarrying including quarry processing operation, safety awareness and shot firing. Brian achieved his Quarry Management Certificate in 1999 after which he was given the opportunity to move into a management role at the Stawell Quarry site.

The Stawell Quarry site has undergone many significant upgrades through the years primarily to improve safety standards for its operators and the community. The upgrades have also increased productivity of the high quality material it produces on a daily basis.

SITE PHOTO: Site Crushing Plant, aggregate production

SITE PHOTO: Site Crushing Plant, aggregate production

Much of the existing crushing plant was designed and built at the Conundrum head office site in Beveridge before being transported and assembled on site at Stawell for commissioning at the end of 1996. The plant consists of a primary crushing circuit, a secondary crushing and screening circuit and a final screening circuit. A lot of development and research was done over the years to develop the best practices to increase productivity and also manage the highly abrasive source rock.

The design of the working extractive area was reviewed and finalised in a Work Plan Variation in 2008. Design of face heights and bench widths incorporated slope stability to address the geological nature of the material. Progressive rehabilitation was designed to reduce and move towards minimal terminal faces remaining on the site for long periods of time.

In 2001 the primary crusher circuit underwent a major upgrade with replacement of the small single toggle 24”x36” jaw crusher being replaced by the last Australian built Jaques 48”x42”DT jaw crusher. At the same time the crushing plant electrical system also went through major changes with the first Citect automation program installed within the company.

The Citect program provided more detailed access to data which assists management and operators to understand the KPI’s which lead to more efficient production. This also resulted in a high standard of quality control with production consistency.

In 2015 the site was upgraded with more concrete platforms to provide better clean access around the crushing plant and even better QA management. Changes in water management provided more efficient use of site water and dust management. Major painting programs were implemented and mobile plant used on site was also upgraded with new fuel efficient machines. Everything done is to improve OH&S and to meet today’s compliance requirements. Constant auditing and monitoring in all areas is conducted to ensure best practice and compliance.

The Stawell Quarry has successfully worked with the community based Project Platypus environmental group on land erosion control projects. Quarry materials were used combined with earth works, drainage and planting of flora to create stable ground conditions in the trial area. Conundrum Holdings is a regular contributor to local community groups and organisations.

SITE PHOTO: Looking over rehabilitated area into the extraction area with a recently blasted shot in view.

SITE PHOTO: Looking over rehabilitated area into the extraction area with a recently blasted shot in view.

Stawell Quarry made the final list of nominations of the 2009 Strzelecki Awards recognising excellence and innovation in sustainable earth resource development. The commitment to ongoing progressive site rehabilitation was showcased in over 10 years of operation and rehabilitation.

Both Brian and Don Rigby, the Quarry Processing Manager, are extremely proud of the site and of the ongoing support of their team who continually strive for excellence and the high standards they have achieved. They have been proud members of the CMPA since its inception.

60 Seconds with a voting member . . . 

What is your name? Brian Calovic .

Quarry Manager Processing Don Rigby (L) Quarry Site Manager Brian Calovic (R)

PHOTO: Quarry Manager Processing Don Rigby (L) Quarry Site Manager Brian Calovic (R)

Who do you work for? Conundrum Holdings Pty Ltd .

How many years have you been involved in the industry? 21 Years.

What are your hopes for the industry?   To further develop and maintain cooperation between the community, industry and regulators. To provide opportunity to the next generation through mentorship and training .

What is your role at the company? Quarry Site Manager.

What is the best part of your job? We get to be involved in the growth & development of the company & its employees.
We are constantly challenged on how we can do it better. I am proud of our site & welcome any CMPA members to drop in and say hello. .




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