Warren's Romance with Sandstone

Article excerpt

Byline: TONI SOMES

ONCE it might have been called gold fever, today the rock differs but not the zeal with which one Warwick miner is pursuing it.

Former Yangan publican Warren McDonald says he has put everything he owns into the development of a sandstone mine on the northern edge of the city.

The passionate local businessman is in partnership with well-known Southern Downs entrepreneur John Doherty.

Earlier this year the duo, operating as Australian Sandstone Mining and Exploration, invested in a 8ha (20 acre) established sandstone mine, behind Warwick golf course.

In the four months since their purchase Mr McDonald has made the extraction of the highly sought-after stone his mission.

C[pounds sterling]I am passionate about sandstone,C[yen] he explained.

C[pounds sterling]Every piece tells a story, and the best quality sandstone is highly valuable and sought after. I believe we are onto something here.C[yen]

He said the deep seam of sandstone running just below the surface at his mine site was a C[pounds sterling]beautifulC[yen] colour and export quality.

As a result the partners have invested in additional machinery and operators and have begun a development process Mr McDonald believes will see them regularly exporting high grade sandstone to places like China.

C[pounds sterling]Export demand is so great we already have an order for 1200 cubic metres of top quality sandstone worth in excess of $680,000,C[yen] he said.

Premium quality sandstone Co defined by its colour and hardness Co currently sells on the export market for between $500 and $600 per cubic metre, Mr McDonald explained. …