Sibelco Australia began operations in 2000 with the acquisition of Commercial Minerals. This was quickly followed by the acquisitions of the ACI Industrial Minerals operations and the David Mitchell business.  Through acquisition, we have expanded the business across Australia and New Zealand.

Sibelco has inherited a long operating history in Australia with its longest running site, at Lilydale in Victoria, operating continuously for over 130 years. We now employ close to 1,000 people and operate a network of over 30 mines, plants, sales offices and distribution warehouses throughout Australia and New Zealand. 

Sibelco Australia Limited is part of the Sibelco Group which was established in Belgium in 1872.

Sablières et Carrières Réunies (SCR) is established to mine silica sand layers for industrial applications in Mol, Belgium.

Anciennes Sablières Stanislas Emsens is established which integrates a sand pit at Stevensvennen, Belgium.  Of the many sand pit operators at the end of the 19th Century, only SCR and Les Nouvelles Sablières de Mol survived the First World War.

SCR takes over Anciennes Sablières Stanislas Emsens and begins a cooperation focusing strongly on technology. This results in a major expansion in the 1930’s, which will ultimately help SCR recover after the considerable damages of the Second World War.

SCR constructs the first plant for drying and grinding silica sand in Dessel called Sibelco.  This technology will later serve as a model for similar projects for the Sibelco Group worldwide.

During the 1960’s the group develops as a European market player.  In an effort to reduce logistics costs and to find quartz near its customers, Sibelco constructs or buys production facilities in France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

In 1970 Unimin Corporation is established. Three years later it is the largest North American producer of silica sand. Today Unimin Corporation is wholly owned by Sibelco. In 1978 The Company commences its growth in South America by constructing a plant for mining quartz sand in the Brazilian province of São Paulo.

The Company strategically diversifies and enjoys significant international growth. Acquisitions are made in many parts of the world including Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Ukraine, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Thailand.

With an eye to the future the Company has expanded into complementary minerals businesses. These include investments in glass recycling (cullet) in Europe and the 2009 purchase of the CRL Mineral Sands business in Australia.

Unimin Australia and New Zealand adopt our parent company name ‘Sibelco’.

Sibelco Australia acquires QMAG, Australia’s largest producer of Magnesia products.