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Drake Cement revised permit finalised

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World Cement,

Drake Cement’s air quality permit revision has been finalised, following a 45-day review period by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The revised permit allows the company to increase clinker production at its cement plant in Paulden, Arizona.

Permitted production levels now stand at just under 0.73 million tpy, compared to the pre-revision level of 0.66 million tpy – and increase of 10%. The revised permit, which is valid for a period of five years, also removes a rolling three-hour clinker production rate limit of 83.33 tph and increases the allowable hours of quarry operation.

The production increase will not require any additional impact, but limestone requirements will grow from 1.06 million tpy to just under 1.20 million tpy. Although not requiring any additional blasting, the increase in limestone requirements will see more throughput through the primary crushing operation, resulting in higher particular matter (PM) emissions.

Fugitive PM emissions will also increase due to higher levels of activity in the quarry and more vehicle movements. CO, NOX, volatile organic compounds, SO2 and total hydrocarbon emissions will remain the same.

The Paulden plant began full-scale operations in early 2011. Annual production was 0.44 million t in 2014 and 0.42 million t in 2015, the latest years for which production is available.

Along with CalPortland’s Rillito plant and Salt River Materials Group’s Clarkdale plant, it is one of three cement plants in Arizona with a combined clinker capacity of 3 million tpy. According to the Portland Cement Association, Arizona cement production was 2 million t and consumption was 1.9 million tpy in 2015.

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