The palagonite is softer than blue metal aggregate and it is easily screened from a crushed product. Organic farmers have commonly used crushed rock as a soil amendment and palagonite is a highly desirable material because it is already altered but still retains all plant available elements making it a fine soil improver (no leaching has taken place).

Palagonite soil conditioner can be blended with composted green waste and animal manures (particularly composted chicken manure) to create a chemically complete fertilizer, retaining all its own chemical benefits as well as the desirable high levels of carbon, organic matter, potassium and calcium that is available from the composted animal manures and green waste.

If you would like information on Diatomite products visit our sister site Mt Sylvia Diatomite it is a leading producer of high quality Diatomite products

The Company

Mt Sylvia Soil Conditioners is focused on the development of its Palagonite products and the education of current and future clients in the uses of these products.

Company information

All of the directors have a tertiary background in science, which fuels their desire to establish the value and utility of Palagonite using evidence-based research.

They recognize that in this era of water shortage and increasing awareness of chemical pollution in industry and agriculture, Palagonite offers unique, environmentally sustainable solutions to a diverse range of problems.

Palagonite (soil conditioner) soil support

The Mt Sylvia 'Palagonite' is a natural soil conditioner that was created through a rare geological process that involved the interaction between water and hot flowing basalt lava. At Mt Sylvia the water was from a fresh water body in which underlying diatomaceous earth had recently accumulated. The quenched lava formed rinds of volcanic glass that over time were devitrified to amorphous compounds and non-swelling smectite clay.

This process is called palagonisation and the chemical characteristics of the alteration products produced by this process are particularly exciting for their potential applications in agriculture, particularly horticulture.

An Important Testimonial for Soil Conditioner

I have completed a trial of Mt Sylvia Soil Conditioner product called palagonite (Soil Support) on a crop of ginger. The trial involved the input of composted chicken manure (6 tonnes Ha) prior to planting except for two rows which were also treated with palagonite (6 tonnes per Ha).

The crop has now been harvested. For the non-palagonite treated rows 1.6 tonnes of ginger were harvested per row. For the two palagonite treated rows 2.5 tonnes of ginger were harvested per row. This represents a more than 50% increase in yield for the palagonite treated rows.

Anthony Bauer
Bauers Organic Farms

Palagonite a soil amendment - a scientific review

Palagonite is the first stable product of volcanic glass alteration. It is an heterogeneous material, usually with highly variable optical and structural properties, ranging from a clear, transparent, isotropic, smooth and commonly concentrically banded material, commonly called "gel-palagonite", to a translucent, anisotropic, slightly to strongly birefringent material of fibrous lath like or granular structure. commonly called '' gel-palagonite''. The colour of palagonite ranges from shades of yellow to shades of brown.

Soil remineralisation with basaltic rock

The following paper was written by Boral researchers some 15 years ago and indicate Boral's focus at that time. I would like to bring to your attention the average CEC values coming from their crusher dusts. They average no more than 10 meq/100g where Mt Sylvia palagonite averages 35 meq/100g .Given that the CEC is a measure of soil fertility This paper gives the reader an opportunity to compare Boral data with data from our own palagonite which is available to read in the Product section of this website.


Following an extensive worldwide literature search and discussions with experts in the field from Europe, USA and Australia, greenhouse trials have been carried out using basaltic rock dust to assess the impact on plant growth and health and soil improvements. Rock dust contains a large range of trace elements and improves thesoil pH, water retention, microbial activity, in general the plant growth and the soil structure. Basaltic rock dust with higher paramagnetic intensity is very beneficial for the improvement of soil quality and in turn plant growth and health. Field trials are being undertaken to verify the positive results from the greenhouse trials. Additional investigations recommended are microbial treatments, assessment of compost behaviour and issues related to blending, pelletising, minerals addition etc.

Palagonite-Chicken Manure 50 50 blend

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

MSD has been in discussions with Vital Soils a commercial composter of chicken manures located half way between Gatton and Esk. MSD has produced a 50:50 blend of standard palagonite and the chicken compost creating a biological fertiliser with a high concentration of all the elements required for healthy plant growth. The additional Organic Matter, Nitrogen, Sulphur, Phosphorous, Potassium, Boron and Silicon add to the macro and micro element loading already in the palagonite.

Hugh Lovel: Excellence deserves recognition

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Anthony Bauer from Bauers Organic Farms completed a trial of standard palagonite on a crop of ginger that he planted in the Autumn of 2015. The crop was fertilised with Chicken compost at 6 tonnes/Ha. On two rows palagonite was added at the equivalent rate of 6 tonnes/Ha. The results of the trial were more than surprising and led Hugh Lovel to write the paper set out below.