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Wide Span Sheds protect opal business

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When Outback Opals and Bolder Black (a joint opal mining venture) were looking for buildings to protect their expensive and heavy duty machinery, as well as a processing area they turned to Wide Span Sheds.

Outback Opals owner Mike Bennett said the two buildings purchased from Wide Span Sheds were perfect for the mining operations needs as they could be altered from their standard design.

“The first shed we bought – the farm open sided building – needed to be big enough to store our opal mining machinery including a bulldozer, excavator and test drilling rig,” Mike said.

“We custom made the height to a 4.5m clearance so we could fit the rig in.

“The two bays in this shed allow us to have an area where we can repair and work on our machinery.

“In time, we’re planning on getting a light plane to use for prospecting so we also intend the shed to double as an aircraft hangar.”

The smaller shed they have purchased from Wide Span Sheds will be used for the processing of the opals.

“That shed will be used for cutting, polishing and it’s there the opals will be prepared for exportation all over the world including Europe, America and Japan.”

Mike said the Australian opal industry had definitely grown in the last year.

“However, our industry is very sensitive to global unrest firstly because opals are a luxury item and as soon as terrorism affects tourism to Australia our industry is affected.

“Australians aren’t particularly into opals, which is crazy because this country produces the most beautiful opals around,” he said.

Bolder Black and Outback Opals have leases in Koroit (north-west of Cunnamulla) and the Friday Creek area west of Quilpie.

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