A Sample Proposal – Glass Resource Package

At the Alternate Economy our main goal of forming a bank is to allow us to begin puchasing resources. Below is a sample of what some of my proposals to the community will look like. Each proposal should have three main areas, outlined in as much detail as possible.

1: Costs
2: Business Plan for Sustainability
3: Benefits to Community

This proposal is only an example, we still need to form a bank before we start worrying about actual details. I have chosen a real site that is really for sale right now, to base this operation on. This proposal is researched and presents the costs as best as I can determine them without actually calling these people up and bothering them.

Glass Resource Proposal

Costs

$17,500,000
A little over half of one months budget for our community

This proposal will contain 8 parts:

– Silica Mining Reserve – $4,500,000
– Limestone Mining Reserve – $1,500,000
– Sodium Carbonate Distillery – $1,500,000
– Component Processing Plant – $3,500,000
– Glass Manufaturing Factory – $1,500,000
– Greenhouse Production Factory – $500,000
– Trucking Company – $1,000,000
– Housing Initiative – $3,500,000

Silica Mining Reserve

Silica Mine
Silica Mine

Quartz Mountain, the unique silica mine in Douglas County, Oregon, is for sale. This property includes the mountain top silica quarry located on 4 patented claims (82.592 acres, title to be issued soon) and 5 adjoining unpatented claims (103 acres) in the Umpqua National Forest.

The deposit is approximately 3000 feet by 1200 and 700 feet deep; purity is 98+%. A major glass producer initiated exploratory drilling to confirm quantity and quality of reserves to support a flat glass plant to be located in the Roseburg area in 1999. This independent drilling has confirmed reserves in excess of 4.5 million tons and indicated reserves over 10 million tons, more than sufficient for their needs. Estimates of total reserves of the massive deposit have ranged to 103 million tons, though drilling has not been done to confirm this number.

There is no overburden on the quarry site and very little vegetation. The mine road is in good condition and will accommodate semi-trucks with trailers.

Limestone Mining Reserve

It would be wise to search for a limestone quarry near the silica quarry. Limestone is far more plentiful and more reasonably priced, so it is easier to match the location of limestone to that of the silica. Since glass requires 75% silica 10% limestone and 15% sodium carbonate, we will need to harvest all three resources in order to produce glass.

There is a beautiful property in Oregon available for sale. The owner of this exceptional property seeks a conservation buyer for purchase. It’s 642 acres of timber land and a limestone quarry. However, it’s what lies beneath that makes the property so exceptional. The land lies on one of Oregon’s largest limestone deposits. Underground, a complex cave is associated with this limestone deposit.

Based on a 1995 survey, it has over a quarter-mile in total lineal feet of cave length. The entrance to the cave is blocked to prevent unwanted entry and was last opened in 2010, when the owner let a cave conservancy group in to survey, photograph, and explore the cave. The group discovered a family of spiders that was previously unknown and un-cataloged!

Of the 642 acres, about 40 acres has been historically used as a limestone quarry (unused since the 1960’s). The balance of the property is timberland, well stocked with young conifers approaching marketable size. The property features home site opportunities and panoramic views of the Wilderville and Grants Pass area. It is located near the Rogue and Applegate Rivers and contains a seasonal creek.

It is currently listed for sale at $1,495,000.

Sodium Carbonate Distillery

Sodium Carbonate is an essential component to glass production. It is added as a flux to reduce the melting temperature of silica from 1700 F to 900 F. This greatly lowers the cost of production of glass. But also weakens the glass, so limestone is needed as well, to strengthen the mixture. Sodium Carbonate is made by processing brine (Sodium Chloride and water) with Ammonia in special towers. These towers do not use up the ammonia, but simply require brine and limestone to create sodium carbonate. The waste product of this process, calcium chloride, can be used in secondary applications, such as a desiccant to store foods and a safer(?) alternative for road de-icing.

Sodium Carbonate
Sodium Carbonate

Component Processing Plant

I feel the best solution for component processing would be to build a factory on the property. The first stage of silica and limestone processing is grinding the stone into a fine powder. There are mobile grinders available to do the coarse grinding and these machines are available used. They are quite expensive and will probably run around $1,000,000 for two of them. This machine can move around the sand pit, and will dump its production into dump trucks to haul back to the processing plant. The processing plant will essentially be a shell containing two more grinders, to get the sand as fine as possible, and a furnace. The stage where the sand is heated up is called “washing”, and requires the sand to be floated in water to separate the impurities. Sodium Carbonate is added as a flux in order to reduce the temperatures for melting. It is then heated and melted and rolled into panes of glass. These panes of glass can be loaded onto flatbed trucks and moved to the glass manufacturing factory,

Silica coarse gravel crusher
Silica coarse gravel crusher

Glass Manufaturing Factory

Since this property is almost 200 acres in size, it would be wise to build this fatory here as well. We can easily build a shell for $500,000 and fill it with equipment from other companies that are for sale. A large scale factory in British Columbia is for sale for $1,125,000. After shipping costs and assembly we should be able to have a glass manufacturing plant quite easily. This plant will be able to automatically make windows, doors, double-paned glass or anything else we need, using the panes of glass produced at the silica processing plant.

Greenhouse Production Factory

This factory will not need to be as large, and will essentially be a space for craftsmen to construct simple greenhouses from the windows provided to them by the automated machinery in the glass production factory. Costs will be negligable and sales will be important early on to help propel the project forward.

Greenhouses
Greenhouse Production

Trucking Company

In several steps I have refered to the need for transport trailers to carry loads from one location to another. We will also need a transport to deliver our goods to retailers and other areas where they are needed within the community. I recommend 4 trucks to start. 2 dump trucks, and 2 truck cabs. The three hitches to go along with the 2 18 wheelers would include one flatbed and two boxed cars. A second boxed car attachment would be wise, in case we have large orders or orders in opposite directions. The flatbed truck can be used to transport raw glass panes. With these four trucks we can easily keep up with demand for distribution of our products.

Housing Initiative

Since we have 800+ acres with road access and wooded lots on two properties, it would make sense to sever off a section of 5 acres or so which is relatively secluded and create a housing initiative for our employees. All employees will be hired from within the pool of 250,000 members and so they should be housed as part of their labour contract. They will each receive a single detached home of about 1800 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and one bathroom. This should cost the community around $100,000 a home to build. The home and the land it is sitting upon will become the employees personal property. It cannot be sold without permission of the community, but it cannot be confiscated either. It can be traded for other homes within the community, but must stay within the community at all times. If the member decides to leave the community, they lose their right to ownership of the home.

Business Plan

The goal of this project is to secure all of the necessary resources required for the production of finished windows and glass products. To do this we will need to operate two quarries on two separate properties. Both properties will be in Oregon, but they will need to be connected by a system of transport. We will also need transportation for delivery of the final products. By building three factories upon the site where the silica is located, we will be able to refine the glass, manufacture it into windows and even create greenhouses for our agricultural sector. This will, of course, all require money. Money to purchase and money to maintain. In order for this project to benefit our community it must at least break even. We do not want to introduce projects that drain the community of funds, especially near the beginning. If we are able to produce glass in excess, so that our production costs are met, and we still have some left over to use in the community, we will be in the best position.

Costs: (approximate)

Downpayment – $1,750,000
Loan from our Bank – $15,750,000

Loan Repayments
– Fed Rate = 0.75%
– Our Rate = 1.00%
– Term = 25 years
– $59,500/month

Property Taxes – $5,100/month

Salaries
– 32 x $5,000/month
– $160,000/month

Electricity – $30,000/month (?)

Fuel – $50,000/month (?)

Salt – $1,000/month (?) (sodium carbonate production)

Secondary Window Construction Materials (aluminum, sealants, etc) – $10,000/month (?)

Other Costs – $25,000/month (?)

Total Costs = $340,500/month (approximate)

Incomes: (approximate)

Coarse Limestone Gravel Sales
– $26/tonne
– 1,300 tonnes/month production
– 1,000 tonnes/month excess
– $26,000/month

Calcium Chloride Sales
– $650/pallet
– 100 pallets/month production (?)
– 100 pallets/month excess
– $65,000/month

Raw Glass Sales
– $12/sq foot
– 65,000 sq ft/month production
– 15,000 sq ft/month excess
– $180,000/month

Window Sales
– $200/unit
– 2000 units/month production
– 500 units/month excess
– $100,000/month

Greenhouse Sales
– $5,000/unit
– 4 units/month production
– 2 units/month excess
– $10,000/month

Cave Adventure Retreat – $1,000/month

Total Incomes = $382,000/month (approximate)
Total Costs = $340,500/month (approximate)

The Glass resource should be able to break even every month, and with some luck, we may even become a profitable company and contribute an extra $40,000 to the community every month.

Benefits to the Community

Access to Building Materials

This proposal will give us essentially unlimited access to windows and doors for use in the construction of our homes. The output capacity of this silica reserve far exceeds the needs of 250,000 people. 4.5 million tonnes of silica (the very low estimate) is enough to make 6 million tonnes of glass. That is a lot. More than enough to get us started and still have some to trade.

Residual Businesses

The production of Glass requires coarse gravel limestone and silica, the excess of which can be sold to other producers. The by product of sodium carbonate production, calcium chloride, is a salt that can also be sold to various industries. The raw glass panes, 16′ x 10′, can be used to make just about anything in our factory, using automated machinery. Any excess in production can be sold to construction companies to help keep this business afloat. Also, there is the Greenhouse production factory. Many of the greenhouses will be kept to increase the yields of our farmers, but many can be sold as well, to raise funds to purchase more land, etc. Finally, the Limestone quarry is sitting on 600+ acres, which includes an incredible cave complex. We could easily section off the cave area and create a spelunking adventure retreat.

Environmental Protection

We can go to lengths to ensure the land surrounding the quarries is maintained in harmony with the environment. I am not aware of a way of creating glass without having sand pits of some size. But that does not mean we need to destroy all the surrounding lands. We can easily harvest the pre-existing pits, and put money back into the surrounding lands. We can plant trees, and section off areas for wilderness reserves. We can invest in preservation of the natural caves found at the limestone quarry. We can do whatever we want to, once the land is ours.

Employment
32 employees

4 Truck Drivers
8 Sand Pit Machinery Operators
3 Maintenance Engineers
2 Foremen to run Sodium Carbonate Distillery
6 Foremen to run Silica Processing Plant
4 Foremen to run Glass Manufacturing Factory
1 Salesman for Glass Manufacturing Factory
2 Craftsmen to construct Greenhouses
1 Salesman for Greenhouse Production Factory
1 Accountant

All employees receive free housing that they own from that point forward, assuming they remain members of the community. If they leave their post, they lose their title to their land. All employees will be paid $60,000 a year on top of their housing.

Conclusion

By agreeing to invest $1,750,000 of our community’s money (a little over a half of a month of saving for 250,000 people) into the glass resource package we are providing access to windows, raw glass panes, finished greenhouses, limestone gravel and calcium chloride. We are creating a stream of income for our community to help secure new resources and we are enabling our construction sector to save money by providing them with free windows. We are providing perpetual employment and housing for 32 of our members and we are creating a 600 acre nature reserve which centers around a natural limestone cave.

By taking control of the harvesting of resources we can manage how they are collected. We can utilize the pre-existing sand pits and conserve all of the land around it. We can take from the surface that is already exposed and plant trees in all the other areas. We can invest in technologies that will help to reduce our footprint, once the companies are up and running and bringing in an income.

Please, take the time to consider this proposal as if it were real. Then vote below on whether or not this is a package you would like to see in the future. This vote is just an example, but it will be fun to see what people think! We can go in any direction with this Alternate Economy, but thinking big is what will win us back our world!

Practice Vote

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