ABC Birkenhead Process Change Application – Black Sand and Mill Scale

For over a decade, ABC has successfully used Black Sand and Blended Mill Scale as sources of iron oxide in the cement clinker manufacturing process.

Bauxite, a naturally occurring sedimentary rock provides alumina, which is used in the clinker manufacturing process. ABC is required to find a new source of Bauxite supply, following the mine closure of its existing Tasmanian source. New sources of Bauxite are lower in iron oxide requiring an increase in Black Sand and Blended Mill Scale to maintain iron oxide levels in the raw material input to the kiln.

ABC has submitted a Process Change Request to the SA EPA that includes an assessment of the change in stack emissions from the increased use of Black Sand and Blended Mill Scale under the proposed typical and maximum feed rates.  This assessment demonstrates, that even under worst-case conditions, all emissions from the kiln will continue to be well below the Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016, ground level concentration criteria, which ensure public health and the environment are protected.  Please see the EPA website for further information on air quality

The successful reuse of process waste products, that would otherwise go to landfill, continues to improve the sustainability of ABC’s Birkenhead operation, and contributes to the circular economy of South Australia.

ABC is therefore seeking approval to increase the maximum approved feed rates for Black Sand and Blended Mill Scale to 20 tonnes per hour and 15 tonnes per hour respectively.

For further information about the use of alternative raw materials at ABC, please see our fact sheet on Back Sand and Mill Scale and our Q&A’s on the community website Black Sand and Mill Scale Q&A’s.

If you have any further questions, please email us via