South Yorkshire Times September 11, 1948
Cadeby Works Britain’s Best
Model Quarrying Enterprise
Big Donside Development
Minimum Manpower, Maximum Output.
Tuesday’s visit of the Earl of Scarbrough, Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding, Mr J. H. Jones, MP., Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply, and many other distinguished industrialists and public representatives to the Cadeby Works of the Steetley Company Ltd., focussed public attention on what, is probably the most advanced and up-to-date concern of its kind In the world.
Since the Steetley Company took over from the Conisbrough Cliff Company they have transferred the works to the Cadeby side of the River Don to, the site of their new quarry. Here they are producing dolomite refractories, chiefly for the steel industry, under model conditions of mechanisation which are an example to industry as a whole at a time when Britain’s economy is more than ever dependent on high productivity and sparing use of man-power.
The new works, one of the seven works of this company, cost £500,000 and produces refractories from dolomite for mining and metallurgical furnaces, ground dolomite for the agricultural industry and for neutralising explore the coal dust mixtures in collieries, and as a filler for certain other industries.
It was designed as a contribution towards improving the British standard of living by increasing production, wiser utilisation of manpower and saving in fuel and materials.
The features of the works are heavy excavator quarrying operations, straight line works layout with scale car charging utilising the most modern blast furnace practice, shovel high capacity cupolas with crushing and screening units and up-to-date baths, canteen and other welfare arrangements stop
American Figures Exceeded
Some 6000 tons of graded stone and coke weekly are charged into the cupolas by one man per shift, and a production of 175,000 tons of dolomite refractories and 75,000 tons of ground dolomite per annum is just commencing with less than one third of the men employed in older works now outmoded.
The production figures are better than those of American industry in this field. A saving of 7,500 tons a year of blast furnace coke has been achieved.
The company’s latest undertaking has been the acquisition of the Oughtibridge silica fibre company, and it is already increasing the production of silica bricks – a bottleneck in the coke oven and gas industries – substantially.
Model of Efficiency
The visitors were shown right through the works from the quarry face to the machine shop. All were impressed by the high standard of efficiency which the skilful planning of the works makes possible.
A massive concrete wall 18ft thick at the base let into the hillside creates a vast artificial terrace on which the crumbing and screening plant, the storage bunkers, burning kilns, and the crushing, grading and loading apparatus are all compactly placed. Above is the vast quarry with its 70ft. face where mechanical excavators load the dolomite into dump trucks which deposit it in the crusher whence it gravitates through various stages until the deadburnt dolomite emerges ready for dispatch.
The life of the quarry is estimated at some 50 years or more and a range of excavation will ultimately extend about three quarters of a mile into the hillside.
The only plant still operating on the Conisbrough side of the river Don is a grinding mill, used in the manufacture of stone dust for collieries.