Quarrying is part of the wider extractive industry and the natural stone, gravel and sand that comes from a quarry are known as 'aggregate'.
It's fair to say that people don't give much thought to the subject of aggregates, and may only know a quarry as a hole in the ground.
However, it should be recognised that our current way of life would not be possible to maintain without quarries. For example, quarry products provide the basis for our transport network – roads, railways and airports – and for our water and sewerage systems.
The demand for aggregates is enormous; stone is an essential component used in the construction of homes, factories, schools, hospitals and shopping centres, therefore quarries underpin a country's ongoing development and maintenance and play a vital role in a nation's economy.
What are aggregates?
Aggregate is the term given to the different types and combination of rock, crushed stone, sand and gravel in their natural or processed state. After these materials are excavated, they are washed and sorted by size before they are sold for different uses.
Think about the roads and streets around you; more than 90 per cent of a road is aggregate while 80 per cent of concrete used in your home is aggregate.
Yes, quarries are much, much more than holes in the ground; they play a vital part in all aspects of everyday life.
Quarries are the backbone of construction. Just imagine life without the convenience of aggregate products.
Redevelopment and Rehabilitation
When a quarry completes its production cycle they can go through a period or rehabilitation and redevelopment to benefit the community