Consent for the River Bend gravel quarry in New South Wales ? formerly known as Gosforth Quarries ? was due to expire in January 2018. However, the quarry has not been extracting at its approved rate, meaning the resource still has a lot to offer.
Operator Riverbend Quarry indicated in its application to council that that it was viable for the operation to continue into the future and its quarry product was still high in demand, both locally as well as in broader surrounding areas.
Minutes from a Maitland City Council meeting stated: ?The existing consent enables the quarry to extract 100,000 tonnes of quarried rock annually. Figures recorded by council, based upon road maintenance contributions, estimate annual extractions have been less than this approved rate since the time the consent was granted. Annual average extraction over the last five years has been 58,000 tonnes. It is therefore taking longer to extract the available gravel resource than originally anticipated.?
The operator declined to disclose why it had not been extracting at the approved rate but a council spokesperson told Quarry that it had not been due to additional restrictions the council had imposed on the quarry.
After advertising the proposal three times, the council received a total of 13 objections but stated that the issues raised ?generally relate to alleged statutory and environmental non-compliances with the operation of the quarry to date? and that the council did not deem them to be of ?sufficient substance? to warrant refusal of the application.
The council approved the modification of the existing consent to allow the quarry to continue extraction to 2028 ?until the expiry of the available resource?, which it estimated is around 890,000 tonnes.
However, the Maitland Mercury reported that some members of the community are not happy with the decision, citing concerns that the quarry?s activities had contaminated two adjoining dams.
Sources: Maitland City Council, Maitland Mercury