A paper on the challenges of quarrying in one of the world’s harshest and inhospitable environments has received this year’s Caernarfon Award.
The winner and runners-up of the Caernarfon Award were announced by the international presidents of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) as part of the awards ceremonies at the QuarryNZ conference in Wellington, New Zealand, on 16 July.
Since 1989, the international honour has been presented to an IQ member who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of the quarrying sector.
Gavin Hartley MIQ, the quarry manager of Blackhead Quarries, in Dunedin, New Zealand, is this year’s winner.
His presentation – Quarrying way down south – highlighted the challenges of quarrying in one of the world’s harshest environments. He helped establish a quarry at McMurdo Station, Antarctica in 2019, including supplying the foundations for six buildings at the American base. Hartley delivered his presentation at the IQ Otago/Southland branch mini-conference in July 2021.
The international presidents recognised that Hartley’s presentation demonstrated how IQ members share their skills and expertise with colleagues and other professionals around the world, while at the same time expanding their own knowledge and understanding of the science of quarrying, the very principles on which the IQ was founded.
“Quarrying in an isolated place and in adverse weather conditions is very challenging,” IQ New Zealand President Dean Torstonson said. “Gavin’s paper provided a snapshot of a small team of quarrying professionals producing aggregate for new building foundations in one of the world’s harshest environments – way down south – in McMurdo Station, Antarctica. It described the landscape, the project, the quarry and equipment, health and safety, the people, and the outcomes, as well as piqued the interest of everyone associated with the quarrying industry. Congratulations Gavin, the honour is well deserved.”
With an exceptional number of high quality submissions for the prestigious award, the IQ’s international presidents also presented four entries with a ‘Highly Commended’ recognition.
Gavin Mennie, Breedon Group, and Martin McGroarty, Fife Council, presented “Mineral planning in Scotland” on behalf of the IQ Scottish branch. The presentation gave the audience a unique insight, both pre-operational and of a working site, of the requirements that the operator and the planning authority have to consider during and after the life of the site.
Claudia Trotter, Mates in Mind, presented “Improving mental health within the workplace” on behalf of the IQ North Wales Branch. While a lot of businesses have structures in place to help staff with issues, the presentation highlighted important information on the help available and more importantly assisted with dismissing the stigma of asking for help, along with the understanding of different forms of mental health problems. This is particularly important due to the additional pressures from COVID-19 on people’s wellbeing.
Simon Tose, Blast Consult, delivered a short online course on blast design to the IQ South Africa members. The course covered the fundamentals for blast and blast design, providing insight into approaches for developing more efficient blasting methods.
Mark Godden FIQ, Albion Stone, presented “Portland Stone – The transition from Surface to Deep Mining” on behalf of the IQ West of England Branch. It outlined the geology of Portland and the important role that Portland stone has played in construction over past centuries, the drivers for going underground in terms of the past and the current impact of quarrying on the landscape of Portland, as well as the processes involved in developing the underground excavation work. He also explained how this innovation would secure a long-term future for Portland stone.
“Despite the challenges caused by the global pandemic, it’s clear to see from the volume of applications to this year’s Caernarfon Award that our international network of Institute of Quarrying organisations have continued to deliver high-quality, informative and educational sessions for their members,” IQ International Presidents Chair (and IQA President) Shane Braddy said.
“On behalf of the IQ, I’d like to congratulate our winner, Gavin Hartley, as well as each of our highly commended runners up.”
“To receive an award judged by your peers in New Zealand is awesome but to be recognised by your peers internationally is an unbelievable honour and I am so proud to be part of such a great industry,” Harley said, upon receiving the Award.