By Whitney Donohue
Moapa Valley Progress
Chaparral Limestone and Cement out of Provo, Utah is working towards opening a new cement powder manufacturing plant in Moapa Valley in the next year or two. Principals of the company, Allen Young and Drew Downs, have been working since 2007 to put together what they call a “Bundle of Sticks”, which consists of all the rights needed to operate a cement manufacturing facility here.
Initially, the company was in talks with the Aldo DiNardo, the owner of the old Royal Cement plant which has long been out of operation north of Logandale.
But as Chaparral started researching the plant, they discovered problems with the existing facility that hindered negotiations. DiNardo passed away in 2010, hampering negotiations even further.
In the end, Chaparral ended up purchasing DiNardo’s air quality and other permits, but passed on the existing plant, which they felt needed too much work to make it feasible.
In the meantime, another cement powder processing company, Ash Grove Cement, came in a few years ago and made mining claims on the limestone in the area surrounding the Royal Cement plant.
“The Royal Cement plant still belongs to the DiNardo estate,” Young explained, “but it is in the process of being demolished, I believe.”
As Chaparral continued to research the area, they found that the quarry on SR-169 at the Moapa Valley exit did not have any current claims on it with the federal government. So they placed a claim on the quarry and surrounding areas. The claim was accepted. At this point, Chaparral felt they had a complete “Bundle of Sticks” and started shopping around the idea of the plant to potential investors and worldwide cement companies.
Chaparral’s preference would be to sell the package outright, however they are willing to enter into a joint venture on the project.
“Our experience is that most companies want a U.S. partner in this kind of venture,” Young stated.
Chaparral expects that a state of the art cement powder processing facility will be built within the next five years, providing up to 100 jobs. The new facility would be closer to the existing quarry near I-15.
“Las Vegas is currently the only major city without a cement powder manufacturing facility nearby,” said Young. “We are currently in talks with about four worldwide manufacturers, although at this time we can’t divulge who they are.”
Young recently made a presentation to the Moapa Valley Rotary Club about Chaparral’s plans, and is willing to present to other local organizations if requested.