The Victorian Young Members Network’s (YMN) “pit to product” tour began with a visit to a full sand quarry at Metro Quarry Group’s (MQG) Nyora Quarry on the South Gippsland Highway, 100km from the Melbourne CBD, on 12 December, 2017.
Organised and led by MQG planning and regulatory manager Ryan Messer, the YMN group’s trip began with a visitors’ induction and going over PPE requirements at the Nyora site.
About 10 members including a laboratory technician, administration manager and marketing officer were then shown around the quarry’s working pits and observed its sand and soils processing operations.
Nyora Quarry, which was established in the 1990s and acquired by MQG in late 2013, is about 66 hectares with an annual production capacity of one million tonnes.
The group learned the quarry, one of the largest in South Gippsland, supplies various types of sand, including asphalt, capping, concrete and fine washed sand, to customers within the construction, industrial, recreation and commercial construction industries.
The YMN group also took in the site’s processing plant before they continued the tour at the Caulfield Racing Club, an end user of sand products.
Real life applications
Caulfield Racecourse track manager Greg Groves greeted the group and began by detailing the different types of sand used at the track and what production specifications were necessary for the horse racing environment.
Groves then took the tour group out to the race track and continued with a discussion on methods for surfacing the track, as well as grass, track and sand maintenance.
Members then took an informal lunch break and the time to discuss the value of attending YMN events.
“The whole aim of the Young Members Network is to provide a platform to assist the development of the young members in the extractive industry and provide networking opportunities,” Messer told Quarry.
“The events are another way to assist with networking opportunities, as it allows the members a chance to meet others of the same age, from within the industry, and share stories, ask questions, gain contacts and make some new friendships.
“They are also designed to educate or up-skill the young members, to assist them with their future career paths in the industry.”
After lunch, the Victorian YMN members proceeded to their final stop – the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), home to the largest sporting club in Australia in terms of membership.
Greeted by MCG arenas operations manager Michael Salvatore, the group heard how the sand products were used at the cricket ground. Salvatore then took the group on to the ground and hosted an informal question and answer session, before concluding the pit to product sand tour.
Discussing tour feedback, Messer said all those who attended had received the event very well.
“Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves on the day and get a lot out of the excursion,” he said.
“It was great to see that while all the attendees had different backgrounds – job title, work location, years in the industry – everyone was networking, sharing stories and having fun.
“One of the most surprising parts of the day was how informative the visit was – everyone walked away having learned something new and interesting.”
The event proved an enjoyable and worthwhile experience, offering the young quarry professionals a chance to network with their peers and those within the wider industry.
In addition to Victoria, the IQA YMN holds events in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania throughout the year, with any IQA member aged 35 or younger welcome to attend.
Talia Paz is the Quarry staff journalist. She accompanied the Victorian IQA Young Members Network on its “pit to product” tour on 12 December, 2017.