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A legacy of innovation

Holcim’s Hastings Quarry has a legacy for getting maximum efficiencies from its equipment for alluvial aggregate production. ALAN TITCHALL talks to Hans Hollis, operations manager aggregates, Hastings, on its past and present machines.

Hans Hollis, operations manager aggregates, Hastings.

HOLCIM’S HASTINGS QUARRY started out as Fraser Shingle and was bought by Hawkes Bay Farmers Transport in the 1980s, and then sold to Milburn.

In 1987 Holcim bought out the Milburn business. In various capacities, Hans Hollis has been connected with the site since he started work for Hawkes Bay Farmers Transport.

In the March issue of Contractor magazine we covered the story of Peter Fraser and his modified Australian-designed Kumbee rotary crusher, which was one of the quarry’s original crushers used from the 1970s and into the 21st century.

Hans, can you recall Peter and his crusher modifications?

Peter loved technical drawing and designing plant. That was one of his favourite things to do when he worked here.

The workshop office housed his large old drawing desk that sat there for years after he left here [1988]. Someone eventually showed an interest in it and offered to buy it.

He had made a lot of modifications to the Kumbee, which was our main crusher after the Jaw, and produced primary material for base courses and chip feed.

That machine gave us full confidence that we could produce 1500M3 AP40 before testing that would meet the TNZ M4 AP40 specification, which customers loved. We knew if the base course didn’t pass the TNZ [Transit and now NZTA] spec it would be because of other reasons e.g. a split screen or a blend mistake.

With the Kumbee, we’d regularly swap out the cheek plates and turned or replaced the hammers and we purchased the hammers and cheek plates from A&G Price who was the only supplier at the time. The hammers were starting to get too expensive to purchase and we were spending over $3000 a month on them.

When did the quarry stop using the Kumbee?

We did a whole lot of alterations on the plant going back maybe 15 years ago. While the Kumbee made excellent product, it was getting far too expensive to operate so we swapped it out for an old Simon Cone.

Keith Neiderer[1] found out we had a spare Kumbee and was interested in purchasing it. He also told me he built the German screen the Kliemer Rhiemer and was prepared to take the Kumbee as partial payment for a new Kliemer Rhiemer screen. I recall Keith already had a sale for a Kumbee.

Did the chip quality stay the same?

The Simons crusher worked well initially, reducing cost and meeting quality expectations. However, we realised the Simons crusher would be a short-term fix and decided to purchase a GP200 Cone that we still use today.

The raw river material in the HB region is relatively hard and it can be difficult turning round stone into crushed cube to meet the required spec. We had to change the Simons crusher’s mantle and liner every six to eight months, where we only have to change the GP200’s every 18 months.

Crushing is with GP200 Cone (main crusher) for what is very hard material

What other gear do you use?

We’ve got a bit of a mixture: A 36×24 Goodwin Barsby; the GP200 Cone, and two Barmac rotopactors. Both Barmacs are set up side by side to make sealing chip, or one can be changed to produce sand.

A lot of our plant is very old with some screens over 50 years old.

On the river we use a Komatsu digger 300, a 40 tonne Komatsu ADT, and a 40 tonne Moxy.

Who are you supplying to?

We supply to all sectors in the market. Our customers are sometimes our competitors – if our competitors run out of product they will come to us.

We’re also providing material to meet the TNZ and Hastings District Council specification.

When producing sealing chip, we either manufacture to the TNZ M6 spec or to the Napier Amendment spec.

Bridgeman Concrete is a main customer purchasing aggregate from us for the concrete market.

What is the future of the site?

Going forward we will continue extracting out of the Ngaruroro River, however the Regional Council is planning for all contractors to extract a percentage of their allocation from the Waipawa River. I’m not too sure whether this means we will increase our capacity as that will depend on customer demands.

I am not sure when this is to happen and how the extraction will take place, but the River is approximately 50 kilometres from our quarry site, so there will be a significant cost involved in winning and carting material back to the plant. We are also discussing increasing our river consents to five years.

Meanwhile, it has been a very busy time for all quarries in the Bay having enjoyed a very busy year. The whole industry has seen a considerable lift in market demand over the past year, some great contracts out there. 


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