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Quarry proposals anticipate high sand demand

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment recently approved Coastal Sand and Quarry Products’ application to extend the operating life of its Fullerton Cove Sand Quarry, located north of Newcastle.

The quarry’s original consent allowed for operation until 30 June, 2016. However, the extension application stated that recent quantity surveys at the site indicated approximately 280,000m3 of sand still remained within the approved extraction area, equating to approximately 41 per cent of the total approved sand resource of just over one million tonnes.

The application involved no other changes to production or extraction limits, or to the extraction area, and the department found the requested consent modification could be undertaken with minimal environmental impact. Furthermore, no public submissions were received.

As such, the department approved the quarry’s application to continue operating for an additional four years until 30 June, 2020.

“The extra time would allow the company to fully extract the approved sand resource from the quarry,” a NSW Department of Planning and Environment spokesperson stated. “This means ongoing supply of construction sand for the Sydney and Hunter regions.”

Greenfield quarry application

Meanwhile, the department recently extended the exhibition period for the Williamtown Sand Syndicate’s application to develop a new sand quarry on the land north of Cabbage Tree Road in Williamtown, NSW.

The proposed Cabbage Tree Road Sand Quarry Project would be situated on land owned by Port Stephens Council, which has entered into a lease agreement with Williamtown Sand Syndicate to develop and operate the quarry.

It was said the site contained a sand resource of approximately 4.6 million tonnes within an extraction area of almost 70ha. However, to minimise potential environmental impacts, the application only sought approval to extract 3.3 million tonnes of sand from a 54ha area at a rate of 600,000 tonnes per annum for 15 years.

The application stated that the proposed quarry would create an ideally positioned medium to long term supply of construction and industrial grade sand for the Sydney and Hunter markets, which would support the regions’ growth and development strategies while meeting demand from any significant infrastructure projects undertaken within these areas over the life of the quarry.

The application also noted that the project would create six full-time quarry jobs, support 20 road transport drivers, and provide other indirect benefits to the community via goods and services expenditure within the region.

The Cabbage Tree Road Sand Quarry Project application will be on exhibition until 15 February, 2016.

Commenting on the two sand quarry projects, Dayne Steggles, an active member of the Hunter resources sector through organisations such as the IQA, said, “I believe strongly in the benefits of wide consultation and even wider acknowledgement of the primary role of aggregate materials in benefiting our community in so many ways.

“Sensible utilisation of finite resources demands a good balance is struck to ensure optimum resource extraction when undertaken. Indeed, our community has never been more focused on efficient resource utilisation, and such projects [the Fullerton Cove and Cabbage Tree Road quarries] look to meet that demand.”

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