Mount Compass increases product range and enters new markets with help from McLanahan UltraSAND Plant

Mount Compass Sand and Loam, located 60km south of Adelaide in South Australia, was established in the early 1980s. Current owner and director Rodney Miller purchased the business in 2007, and since then, he has endeavored to expand the company’s product range. Mount Compass produces quality sands for use in the landscaping and construction industries, including an oval mix, top dressing, specialty sands and beach sands.


Mount Compass originally used a dry screening method to separate out its sand products; however, the number of products the company could make this way was limited. To make its superior products, Mount Compass had to purchase sand from other suppliers, which Miller said made the cost of doing business higher.

Then in 2012, a McLanahan representative visited Mount Compass and pointed out new ways the company’s sand could be used that Miller hadn’t even considered. Mount Compass has a unique sand that meets the American Petroleum Institute’s specifications for frac sand – the sand particles are round, spherical and very hard.

“It opened our eyes to the opportunity that down the track we would look at a wash plant that would enable us to exploit those markets,” said Miller.


As Mount Compass considered its options, McLanahan offered support by recommending various solutions that would help Mount Compass meet its production goals. In the meantime, McLanahan formed a partnership with Lincom to represent its aggregate wet processing line in Australia. Lincom already had a relationship with Mount Compass through the dry processing side of its business.

Ten years after the McLanahan representative’s first visit, Mount Compass upgraded its dry screening process with a McLanahan UltraSAND Plant through Lincom to produce specialty sands and to increase production.

“From the very beginning, McLanahan has supported us with looking at various options over the years,” Miller explained. “We’ve been very slow to make this large of an investment, but they have been with us all the way over 10 years of looking at the best options that are available for the products we wanted to produce.”

The McLanahan UltraSAND Plant is a sand-washing solution that consists of a Sump, Pump, Hydrocyclones and Dewatering Screen in a compact, modular system for ease of delivery and rapid setup.

“The McLanahan UltraSAND Plant came in a couple of containers, which were very easy to offload,” said Miller, “and I guess it’s really just like putting together a big Meccano set. With the support of their installing team and our boys, it was a very simple operation to put together.”

Rodney was pleased by the equipment training and service his team received from McLanahan and Lincom as Mount Compass ventured into this new washing operation.

He said, “The support that we received to have the plant up and running has been very exceptionally good.”

The UltraSAND Plant features the flexibility to wash and dewater up to two sand products on the same screen. 

“The McLanahan UltraSAND Plant enables us to wash two products at the one time, which enables us with the landscape products to have a very high-quality product as well as an oval construction product,” Miller said. “The wash plant has given us the opportunity to wash out the clay and silt, which then take all the impurities out of the sand.”


With the McLanahan UltraSAND Plant producing washed and dewatered sand products, Mount Compass no longer has to buy sand from other suppliers to create its superior products. It has also reduced the three-step dry screening process into a one-step process.

“It’s making a fine, clean sand, which will enable us to look at other options down the track,” said Miller.

He said the plant is simple to operate and his operators find it easy use.

“It’s better than what we expected,” shared Miller. “The production that is coming off the McLanahan UltraSAND Plant is better than what our expectation was.”

Not only is the UltraSAND Plant enabling Mount Compass to create clean, high-quality sand products, but the efficiency of system is allowing the company to see additional benefits as well, such as pursuing the production of specialty sands.

“The McLanahan UltraSAND Plant has enabled us to increase our product range, as well as the production of our oval mixes, Miller shared. “The production of the oval mixes is a more efficient operation using the McLanahan UltraSAND Plant.

“Having an efficient wash plant has enabled us to not only enter into new markets, but it has made some of our existing products more affordable to produce, giving us a better margin overall from a business point of view.”

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