Located at Gordonvale, 25km south of Cairns, Mulgrave Mill produces and exports about 160,000 tonnes of raw sugar annually.
Each year, sugarcane is supplied from around 200 farming entities with an average farm size of around 6,000 tonnes.
During the crushing season, which starts in mid-June and runs until mid to late November, subject to weather, cane is drawn from a 13,000 hectare growing area which produces approximately one million tonnes of cane. The area is serviced by 18 harvesting contractors cutting an average of 55,000 tonnes and transported by a cane railway network extending over 256 kilometres.
How it happened
Mulgrave Mill was constructed on the current site in 1895 and commenced crushing in 1896, processing 13,753 tonnes of cane in its first year of operation.
The mill was established as a grower owned co-operative and maintained this status until mid- 2008 when the company came under the ownership of The Maryborough Sugar Factory Limited later known as MSF Sugar Limited.
Since 2012, Mulgrave Mill has been owned by Thai based Mitr Phol Group, one of the world's five largest sugar milling companies.
In 1983, the Mulgrave district was the first to adopt green cane harvesting. Uptake by growers increased rapidly to more than 90 per cent by 1990. All cane is now harvested green, leaving a trash blanket which acts as a weed suppressant and assists with moisture retention.
The area has a range of soil types which influence growing practices and cane variety selection. The crop is rain fed with an average rainfall of 1800-2000 mm per year.
Raw sugar produced at Mulgrave Mill is exported through the bulk sugar terminal at Cairns, one of Queensland's many purpose built storage terminals for raw sugar exports.
Mill History Timeline
1895 Construction commenced
1896 Commenced operations as a grower-owned co-operative crushing 13,753 tonnes of cane, yielding 1,396 tonnes of sugar
1964 Mill crushed 500,000 tonnes of cane
1991 Hambledon Mill cane transferred to Mulgrave Mill for crushing following the closure of Hambledon Mill
1992 Commenced continuous crushing operations, crushing 1,327,981 tonnes of cane
1996 Centenary of processing cane for 100 consecutive years
2001 First mill to introduce cane quality program
2006 Partnered with Mossman Central Mill Company Ltd to direct market raw sugar
2008 Became fully owned subsidiary of the Maryborough Sugar Factory (now MSF Sugar), transitioning ownership from grower-owned co-operative to a subsidiary of a company publicly listed on the ASX
2010 Joint venture with MSF Sugar Limited and Bundaberg Sugar Ltd
2012 Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation acquires MSF Sugar Limited