The Marulan Region Chamber of Commerce passed a motion in its June meeting as a formal show of support for Holcim and its Lynwood Quarry project, which is currently under construction near Marulan, south of Sydney.
Chamber president David Humphreys said that although regional surveys conducted by Holcim had indicated that the community was “overwhelmingly” in support of the quarrying industry’s presence in the area, there had been “a minority of naysayers” that had been particularly vocal about aspects of the project that would personally affect them.
“We don’t see that it [the modification to the quarry project] does affect them, and we needed to put the opposite opinion out there,” he explained.
In particular, the Chamber sought to show support for the quarry’s recent application to relocate its extraction area, which had been a point of controversy amongst the community since it was lodged last month.
As previously reported by Quarry, Holcim decided to apply for the modification after “operational readiness works” revealed unexpected challenges in the geology of its approved extraction area.
Commenting on this, Humphreys said the material within the approved extraction area could not have been proven until Holcim commenced extraction.
“The recovery percentage wasn't all that Holcim thought it was going to be, and further drilling to move the pit 500m to the west gave them much greater recovery from the resource,” he explained.
Compliant and community-oriented
Humphreys noted that he was on the community consulting committee for the Lynwood Quarry project and that he was responsible for ensuring that Holcim complied with its development application.
“If they breach their operational or environmental requirements, I’ll be the first to raise the issue,” he said.
However, Humphreys attested that, to date, Holcim had not deviated from its consent.
He went on to say that Holcim had gone “above and beyond” in its efforts to address community concerns, and cited, as an example, the fact that the company had spent about half a million dollars on mitigating the impact of the quarry’s lighting on residents.
Humphreys stated that Holcim had additionally set aside $50,000 in community funds to assist non-profit organisations in realising their local projects, and that each of the company’s employees were also required to spend one day each year doing volunteer work.
“Holcim is part of the community,” he emphasised.
Once construction has been completed, Lynwood Quarry will produce up to five million tonnes per annum of material. Its new pit is expected to yield approximately 120 million tonnes of quarry product, which will help meet the requirements of the local, regional and Sydney markets over the coming decades.
Major quarry applies to relocate extraction