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Quarry operator prepares EIS for proposed expansion

As previously reported by Quarry, the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment issued the secretary’s environmental assessment requirements for Daracon Group’s Martins Creek Quarry Extension Project in November 2014.

The project – which Daracon applied for via its subsidiary Buttai Gravel – involves increasing the hours of operation for the existing Dungog-based Martins Creek Quarry and expanding into new extraction areas in order to allow for the extraction of up to 1.5 million tonnes per annum of hard rock.

A Daracon spokeswoman told Quarry that it had been undertaking on-going data collection in support of the application in recent months, including surveying the roads surrounding the site.

Truck movement concerns

Local newspaper The Maitland Mercury claimed that some of the residents that had noticed this activity had expressed concerns that the company was considering using Martins Creek Road as a permanent freight route for quarry trucks.

“It is a local road and has not been designed to accommodate significant heavy traffic movements,” Dungog Shire Council general manager Craig Deasey told the newspaper.

A Daracon spokeswoman was said to have responded by stating that the capability of the road was being reviewed as part of the report it was preparing for the state government.

“We’ve offered to share the environmental impact statement (EIS) subsection reports with the Martins Creek Quarry Community Consultative Committee as they are completed and the results of the current survey work will be part of that,” the spokeswoman told The Maitland Mercury, adding that members of the public were welcome to contact Daracon with further enquiries.

Speaking with Quarry, the Daracon spokeswoman commented, “The secretary’s requirements provide us with a rigorous benchmark against which we can develop our documentation for the submission.

“We anticipate that the completion of the submission requirements will take approximately four months and that we will lodge sometime after Easter 2015.”

The 124ha Martins Creek Quarry has been in operation since 1915 and was acquired by Buttai Gravel in December 2012. The quarry has an expected extraction lifespan of nearly 42 years and supplies markets in Newcastle, Maitland, Cessnock, Singleton, Port Stephens, Lower Hunter, the Central Coast, the lower North Coast, and Sydney’s metropolitan regions.

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Hard rock quarry receives environmental criteria

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