A $5.1 million expansion of the Howlong Sand and Gravel Quarry in southern New South Wales has been proposed by Fraser Earthmoving Construction. This would substantially expand the quarry’s annual extraction rate – from 30,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 330,000 tpa.
In March, Fraser Earthmoving Construction and R.W. Corkery & Co. (RWC) provided an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the expansion to the New South Wales Government.
A combination of activities including flood management earthworks, intersection and private bridge upgrades, building works, mobile plant and fixed plant will contribute to the $5.1 million cost of the expansion.
The quarry is surrounded by agricultural land and borders the Murray River, along with the nearby Camp Nelson Scout Camp that is used on weekends and school holidays. Due to the existing agricultural use of the land, very little vegetation clearing is required. The project includes the construction of levees for flood protection and revegetation of a 100m buffer between the quarry and the Murray River.
“The project would not result in changes to commercial agricultural land uses surrounding the property,” the EIS noted.
RWC’s principal environmental consultant Nicholas Warren told Quarry the huge expansion in operations will provide more job and business opportunities to Howlong, 28km west of Albury. According to the EIS, 10 full time employees and 25 indirectly employed heavy vehicles drivers will be needed under the expansion project.
“We feel that on balance Fraser Earthmoving Construction has proposed an environmentally responsible operation that would provide an important source of local employment, including on site and for transport activities as well as a local source of economic activity,” Mr Warren said.
“The site is poised to supply important sand and gravel resources locally and regionally at a time when construction activities, especially in Melbourne, are ramping up as restrictions from COVID-19 begin to be eased.”
Hanson lends its support
The application is currently under review and has received submissions from the public, along with several industry and public bodies.
Among these is Hanson Construction Materials, which has pledged support for the application.
“As a current customer of the quarry, access to the local aggregate and sand enables Hanson to manufacture and supply premixed concrete into the local communities at cost-competitive rates,” Hanson area manager Andrew Harvey said.
“The distance to market for ready mix concrete raw materials, such as sand and gravel, is a significant cost driver and having resources close to market provides a benefit to the local infrastructure builds. Sand and gravel resources in this area are limited and this key resource will secure local aggregate and sand supply for many years to come.”
New South Wales Director of Resource Assessments (Coal & Quarry) Matthew Sprott has requested a submissions report for the application that responds to the issues raised in the submissions before the project moves to assessment and determination.
RWC and Fraser Earthmoving Construction have three months to provide responses to the issues raised in the submissions or advise the Department that they require additional time to complete the task.
More information about the Howlong Sand & Gravel expansion application can be found at the NSW Government planning portal.