Orica Yarwun celebrates 25 years in Gladstone

ORICA Yarwun has celebrated a quarter century of operations at an event on site for more than 200 employees and local community leaders.

From its origins in 1990 as a chlorine and sodium cyanide manufacturing complex, Yarwun has grown to become a world-scale sodium cyanide and ammonium nitrate operation.

Yarwun general manager Dave Buick said the day marked an important milestone for the organisation and community.

"Today is a proud day for Orica. Yarwun is a significant part of the organisation's global footprint and a core part of our Australian manufacturing network," Mr Buick said.

"Yarwun also plays a key role in the Queensland economy, supplying critical products to the mining and infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and other local industrial sectors.

"I also want to thank our people, past and present, who have demonstrated great commitment to Yarwun. 

"We even have 11 people working for us today who have been with us from our first year of operation.

Originally built to produce 20,000 tonnes per annum of sodium cyanide, 6500 tpa of chlorine and 110,000 tpa of ammonium nitrate, the operation has increased in capacity to be able to produce 95,000 tpa of sodium cyanide and more than 500,000 tpa of ammonium nitrate.

Sodium cyanide is a chemical used in the extraction of gold, while ammonium nitrate is a core ingredient in the manufacture of industrial explosives.

When Yarwun opened its doors in 1990, it employed 70 people. 

Today, the site employs more than 200 people in the Gladstone area. 

The operation is located 9km west of Gladstone.

The site was officially opened on August 7, 1990 by the then Premier of Queensland, the late Wayne Goss.

Over the years it has hosted prominent Australian and international guests, including then Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1992, and His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1994.