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Queensland sandstone colouring the world

Central Queensland’s uniquely coloured sandstone is a hot commodity, with Rockhampton’s Capricorn Sandstone Quarries fielding orders from around the globe.

Potential buyers from Malaysia and India have toured the company’s Stanwell quarry this year, with new enquiries coming in from Korea, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Spain, Canada, USA and the UK.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt celebrated the company’s success at the regional launch of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 in Rockhampton today.

“Capricorn Sandstone’s experience demonstrates the importance of a strong internet presence in taking Queensland’s traditional products to the world,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is one of the cornerstones of our new trade strategy – giving Queensland businesses the tools and training they need to compete in the digital age.

“That’s why the new $35 million Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy includes funding to provide e-commerce training for small and medium enterprises, along with 21 other initiatives to boost the state’s trade and investment.

“We will actively support Queensland firms to team up in a business consortium to meet the specific demands of international clients, including training to ensure their online presence and digital capacities are world-leading.

“Capricornia Sandstone has an extraordinary range of goods and services, and it can be confident of future growth as it expands into new export markets through its website or an e-commerce platform.”

Capricorn Sandstone’s Business Development Manager Tamsyn Smith said that the Stanwell quarry has operated since the 1870s, but the recent international interest in their product is a very modern trend.

“Every sandstone in the world is slightly different, and Stanwell has nine Capricorn colours unique to Queensland,” she said.

“In Australia, the most popular colour is Capricorn Buff, which is used for heritage restoration and on a lot of Sydney building projects, and we can’t get enough of that.

“But these recent export approaches are mostly about Capricorn Grey and White, for everything from high-end residential projects to restorations and memorials.

“We’ve had this sandstone for years, but our website is now allowing people all over the world to find out about these unique Queensland colours.

“We’ve previously exported Brown Banded and Q8 sandstone to China, and we’ll be looking to convert these new enquiries into export orders over the coming months.

“In preparation for our growth, we’ve recently doubled the size of our quarry lease to cater for large-volume projects, including export orders.

“We currently employ 15 staff, and we’re very proud of our role in the local economy.”

Capricorn Sandstone Quarries won the Best Local Product Excellence Award at the Capricornia Business Awards in late 2016.

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