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Ardrossan Grain Silos
Title : Ardrossan Grain Silos Ardrossan Grain Silos
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Creator : Woods, Richard photographer
Date of creation : ca. 1975
Format : Photograph
Catalogue record
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of Richard Woods. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from Richard Woods and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Grain silos at Ardrossan on the Yorke Peninsula

By the late 19th century grain production, mainly wheat and barley, on the northern Yorke Peninsula was rising steadily with the introduction of superphosphate as a fertilizer. From 52,254 bushels of wheat and 549 bushels of barley in 1880 to 243,840 bushels of wheat, 218,275 bushels of barley in 1950 production continues to grow. Until the introduction of bulk handling at Ardrossan all of this grain was bagged at the farm and transported to a port where it would be off-loaded by lumpers, stacked by them until a ship arrived, when it would again be man-handled onto wagons transported along a jetty and man-handled aboard the ship. Variations of this amount of manual handling operated wherever bags of grain needed to be taken from the farm paddocks to market.

Then in 1950 BHP (Broken Hill Proprietary Ltd) began mining a deposit of fine grade dolomite just south of Ardrossan, and applied to the South Australian government for the construction of a crushing plant and a jetty and conveyer belt facility at Ardrossan. Permission was granted subject to the belt and jetty being made available for the shipment of the wheat and barley from the region and salt from the nearby salt pans at Price. With agreement to this, work began on grain silos and bulk handling facilities. The first shipment using these facilities was on 21 January 1953. These bulk handling facilities were the first in South Australia and are now the third largest in the state.

The grain elevator tower is 74 metres, the largest in the state, and the conveyor belt can load 2,400 tonnes of dolomite, 900 tonnes of grain or 750 tonnes of salt per hour. A new jetty 931 metres long with a 'T' head which provides berths 409 metres long was built to accomodate the large bulk carriers that would use the port. The original jetty to the north of the grain silos continues to be used by fishermen and tourists.

The Port of Ardrossan is operated by ABB Grain Ltd. The BHP dolomite facilities and quarry are now operated by One Steel

In 2008 ABB's terminal at Ardrossan staked its claim as the company's most diversified site, with fertiliser and other agricultural chemicals despatch centres and wool storage now added to the site's existing grain and non-grain commodity storage and grain processing and cleaning activities

Coverage year : 1975
Place : Ardrossan
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :

Sanders, ML.Ardrossan and Cunningham Ward Centenary Book, 1873-1973, Ardrossan, District Council of Yorke Peninsula, 1973?

Back to Ardrossan Easter Celebrations: 1873 to 1955. Ardrossan, 1955

Bulk handling in South Australia [Adelaide: South Australian Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited, 1970?] (Glenelg, S. Aust.: Smedley Press)

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