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Wednesday, 16 January, 2002, 15:28 GMT
China clay waste aids building industry
Imerys of St Austell
Imerys has bold plans for its china clay waste
An enterprising Cornish company is approaching large construction firms with a view to selling its china clay waste for use in the building industry.

"We've got the hills, you've got the holes." is how Imerys - the former English China Clays - is marketing the idea.

Selling china clay waste for use in construction is an old idea which has taken on a new life.

It is costly to transport the waste any distance but this sideline of the clay industry could now become much bigger business as a new government tax penalises construction firms that use conventional aggregates which have to be specially dug out of quarries.

Aggregate products

As part of its renewed sales drive, Imerys is now planning to build a 17m docks facility.

Clive Kessell of the St Austell-based company, said this aggregates levy made their familiar by-product look more attractive.

"It was brought to light because of the new tax imposed by Gordon Brown in last year's budget of 1.60 on all aggregate products mined out of the ground," he said.

"The success has already been phenomenal."
Using quarries may become too expensive

The company moved 503,00 tonnes in 1999, 970 000 tonnes in 2000 and 1.3m tonnes in 2001.

"We hope to move 1.6m tonnes this year," Mr Kessell said.

The company has applied for grants for its planned 17.4m expansion to its operation from the nearby port of Par.

"We want to build a new jetty and add two more berths and extend the rail link," said Mr Kessell.

The company moves the waste to East Anglia , London and the south coast as well as the Channel Islands and Germany.

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