CDE equipment brings dormant Little Paxton quarry back to life

Aggregate Industries, a leading building materials and solutions company with more than 300 sites across the UK, has brought dormant Little Paxton quarry in Cambridgeshire back to life with a CDE wet processing solution installed in partnership with Aggregate Processing Solutions (APS).

The beginnings
Holding the Responsible Source™ certification, Aggregate Industries was committed to developing the Little Paxton quarry according to strict environmental guidelines as the site is adjacent to Paxton Pits, a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The quarry had been mothballed for six years and Aggregates Industries, through APS, identified CDE as its supplier of choice to maximise the site’s materials production potential.

As Aggregate Industries originally did not have an extension planning permission, the company opted to lease rather than purchase a wet processing plant, which it needed to be designed to very specific requirements. Aggregates Industries’ 10-year partner APS, which sells, contracts and hires processing equipment, was able to recommend CDE as the only company that could develop a fully bespoke, high-efficiency wet processing solution for Little Paxton. CDE would provide the technical solution and the equipment, which would be installed and operated on site by APS on a price-per-tonne basis.

Expectations and challenges
David Kinloch, Regional Manager UK for CDE said. “The Little Paxton quarry presented different environmental and technical challenges that CDE’s design and technical engineers, in collaboration with Aggregates Industries, tackled systematically and successfully to co-create a tailor-made solution that would deal with the clay contamination in the raw sand and gravel feed whilst addressing requirements for a specific layout to match the site’s footprint as well as height, colour and noise restrictions.

“After the raw feed was analysed in its laboratory, CDE was able to determine how its solutions could match Aggregates Industries’ requirements such as specific products, tonnages, product blends, and stockpiling capacities.”

With a 180 tonne-per-hour feed rate, Aggregate Industries wanted to produce a mixture of aggregates and sands for the construction industry, with the option to blend 20mm, 10mm and 6mm products into a 20-5mm product. CDE designed a bespoke modular solution to reach this objective with the option to be further developed at a later stage. Matthew Sharpe, Quarry Operations Manager at Aggregate Industries said: "Whilst making a decision on the plant for Little Paxton APS and CDE were able to offer a solution to some of our specific requirements we had for the site. This included product blending and stocking capacity, as well solutions to make the operation and maintenance of the plant easier in the long term.

“The ability of CDE to meet these requirements and offer practical solutions is a major contributing factor to Aggregate Industries ultimately purchasing the plant."

The CDE solution
To tackle the clay contamination in the raw feed, Aggregate Industries opted for a complete CDE solution comprising an AggMax 252SR logwasher performing at optimal efficiency thanks to the inclusion of a Prograde twin deck washing screen, a transfer conveyor and an EvoWash triple cyclone sand washing unit. These are completed by six stockpilers, a ProGrade rinsing deck, sizing screens and a Trackstack stockpiling unit. A tracked radial conveyor supplied by APS was added to the installation to allow more flexibility on site.

The result
Once the plant was completed and tested at CDE’s assembly facilities, APS took delivery of it to install and operate it for Aggregates Industries.

With a 180 tonne-per-hour feed rate from the customer’s existing overland conveyor, the Little Paxton quarry now produces +90mm oversize rinsed product, 20-90mm / 20mm / 10mm / 6mm scrubbed product, concrete sand and building sand, as well as soft and sharp sand, with an option to blend 20, 10 and 6mm grades into a 20-5mm product. These are sent to market to be used mainly in concrete applications but are also sold to the decorative aggregates market across a range of regions including Scotland.

Relationships matter
Kinloch adds: “Seamless communication with our client Aggregate Industries and partner APS was key to develop an efficient solution for Aggregate Industries that would be operational in record times.

“Whilst CDE co-created the equipment with Aggregate Industries to ensure all production requirements would be met, effective collaboration with long-term partner APS was a crucial element in the installation and operation of the new plant. APS introduced each component of the Aggregates Industries’ washing system to guarantee perfect synergy and optimal production yield.”

John Dunne, managing director of APS, continues: “It’s great that the quarry is back up and running and I’m happy to see how pleased Aggregate Industries is with its new washing system.

“There is no doubt that active collaboration with our client Aggregate Industries and CDE contributed greatly to the success of the project. APS is an expert in wet processing installations and as we have been working with Aggregate Industries and CDE respectively for 10 years, our knowledge of both the client’s needs and the CDE technology meant we could be an efficient partner in the development of a highly efficient modular plant.

“It took only seven weeks to install and commission the system and soon Little Paxton was ready to start producing high quality sands and aggregates.”
Duncan Hayden, Assistant Site Manager at Aggregate Industries’ Little Paxton Quarry, concludes: “As a company, we have been working with APS for around 10 years and they have always delivered an excellent service, so when they recommended the CDE technology as the answer to the very specific requirements we had for Little Paxton Quarry, we knew we could trust them.
“The whole experience has been very good and we are delighted with the performance of our CDE plant.”

When leasing makes smart business sense
Kinloch concludes: “When planning permission was delivered and capital expenditure (CapEx) became available two years after Aggregate Industries started sending materials to market from Little Paxton, the company was able to purchase the CDE plant in full at a pre-agreed price, demonstrating the benefits of leasing to produce materials immediately rather than wait for CapEx to buy a plant that would then take an extra year to be developed and operation on site.

“We are delighted to have been able to produce a bespoke wet processing solution that has ensured the successful rebirth of Little Paxton into a productive quarry that delivers high quality materials to local construction companies as well as companies located as far away as Scotland.”

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