First new cement plant in Arizona in over 50 years
In 2006, Arizona imported more than 2.5 million tons of cement, according to Drake Cement, which is opening the first new cement plant in the state since 1959. The official grand opening is scheduled for June 17, at the old Drake townsite off State Highway 89, midway between Chino Valley and Ash Fork on I-40.
Cement is produced from LISA...Limestone, Iron, Silica and Alumina, that are ground into a blend, heated and rapidly cooled to form clinker, which is then ground into the portland cement we are familiar with. The Drake plant will produce 660,000 tons of clinker per year. [right, location map from US Forest Service EIS]
The plant is quarrying limestone from the Devonian Martin Formation and the Mississippian Redwall Limestone in nearby (surprise!) Limestone Canyon. The limestone is carried by conveyor to the plant for processing. The plant has a switching facility on the BNSF mainline top bring in the other minerals needed.