A day in the life of the BPM zeolite and perlite operation. From quarry extraction, transportation to the plant, processing and packaging, then transportation to clients, BPM has the quarry-to-customer journey perfectly refined.
BPM’s main zeolite quarry is located about 40 kilometres from its processing plant (South Plant), in Tokoroa.
Clean extraction process
The extraction process at our quarries is clean, and simple, involving no blasting and hence no noise pollution either. An excavator is used and the process has been likened to taking slices off a loaf of bread. The land is rehabilitated in an on-going process, the topsoil is removed and stockpiled for future rehabilitation of the site. As the quarry develops we rehabilitate behind us.
The top layer of the zeolite deposit, up to 8 metres, is targeted for the StockRock market. StockRock – a BPM product – creates a self-cementing surface, considered the ultimate surface for farm races.
This is extracted with our 33 tonne digger and then fed through a dedicated mobile processing plant. This is sized to 100mm maximum size and then transported from the face and stored in a new shed, which can hold in excess of 7000 ton designated for StockRock. By storing it this way, we have a year-round supply of readily available StockRock of a consistent quality which can be kept dry during the wet season.
StockRock orders are dispatched directly from our Tokoroa offices to the quarry manager and trucks are either loaded from the shed or directly from the quarry face to go directly to farms.
The rest of the zeolite, extracted from a deeper level at the quarry, has multiple purposes. It is extracted the same way as the StockRock, and is ideally suited, for example, for absorbency products such as mineral sponge, turf grades and kitty litter. In granulated form the zeolite supplies the absorbent/carrier market, while the fine grade is used for animal feed.
BPM extracts, semi-processes and fills its custom built sheds on the quarry site during the summer months, with the driest possible zeolite. (In addition to the new shed, BPM has three other sheds, which hold in excess of 20,000 tonne of semi-processed zeolite.)
While much of the zeolite goes into the sheds, in summer it can go directly to the Tokoroa processing plant. See www.stockrock.co.nz for more information
BPM’s Perlite deposit is 22kms away from the processing plant in Tokoroa.
Perlite follows much the same process as zeolite in terms of extraction from the quarry. But, the domestic market is of much smaller significance, as more than 90 per cent of perlite is exported. Perlite is carted in BPM trucks to the dedicated perlite processing plant in Tokoroa (North Plant) were it is kiln dried and packaged into 25kg or bulk bags ready for dispatch.
BPM owns two processing facilities (the North and South Plants) that allow us to provide customized service to clients. One is dedicated to zeolite, the other to perlite. This flexibility extends to a number of value-added applications where a total service is available from extracted ore, kiln drying, mechanical process and classification (from 10 mu to 30mm), surface modification, along with customised packaging from 2kg - 25kg and Bulk bags.
At the processing plant
Loads travel from the quarry face to Tokoroa via BPM trucks and are dispatched to the processing plant. Secondary processing involves gas-fired kiln drying of the zeolite followed by crushing and screening to produce a range of products of different particle size ranges and densities. Further processing by nutrient loading onto granular zeolite for the animal feed and fertilizer industries is also carried out. Once processed and packaged, the minerals are ready for dispatch to the market.
BPM’s custom-built processing plant will produce in excess of 20 dry tonne per hour of various grades to suit a range of particular markets.
BPM has a dedicated packaging plant employing seven staff who currently produce more than 1,500,000 bags a year of various sizes and to suit different markets.
Everything produced by BPM is used. From the finest grade going to the animal feed and fertiliser markets through to coarser grades for absorbent applications such as those used for kitty litter, oil and chemical spill control right through to more technical applications such as filtration media or as a carrier for liquids to be used as a solid form - there is zero waste.
Quality of the product
BPM has an integrated quality assurance programme that covers all internal processes. This programme allows us to provide complete projects for clients wanting to value-add their base mineral.