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The young quarry professionals were given a tour of Fulton Hogan’s Tynong Quarry in Victoria.
The young quarry professionals were given a tour of Fulton Hogan’s Tynong Quarry in Victoria.

‘Pit to Road’ event educates young professionals

A recent IQA-hosted event offered young quarry professionals a look at the full aggregate supply chain – from the material’s extraction at a quarry to its use in the laying of a new road.

The Victorian Young Members Network’s (YMN’s) “Pit to Road” event involved a visit to Fulton Hogan’s granite quarry in Tynong on Wednesday, 19 November.

The Dandenong asphalt plant included four, 130-tonne silos for storage.
The Dandenong asphalt plant included four, 130-tonne silos for storage.

The Victorian Young Members Network’s (YMN’s) “Pit to Road” event involved a visit to Fulton Hogan’s granite quarry in Tynong on Wednesday, 19 November.

The tour started off with a brief historical overview of the quarry, which was established in 1986 and acquired by Fulton Hogan from Astec Australia in 2002. The nine YMN members then visited the quarry’s two pits and observed its processing operations, which produce approximately 600,000 tonnes of Devonian-aged granite per annum.

The group learned that the newer pit – which Fulton Hogan began mining six months ago – had given the quarry a second lease on life, with extraction of the quarry’s first 100m deep, seven-bench pit starting to wind down.

Tynong Quarry manager Rodger Jones explained that when the quarry was initially set up in 1986, the area in which the second pit was located was considered to be “low yielding” compared to the first pit site, due to higher levels of overburden and weathered material.

“Over the years, the quarry industry has improved its technical capability around the processing and control of marginal and weathered materials,” Jones said. “This – along with local government and statutory bodies moving more toward ‘engineered for purpose’ materials – has resulted in an increased demand for these materials, which were once labelled waste.”

The new pit is expected to extend the quarry’s operations for at least another 20 years.

Asphalt education
The group discovered more about aggregate processing at Fulton Hogan’s asphalt production facility in Dandenong.

Phil Olsson, the Victorian divisional manager of asphalt production for Fulton Hogan, guided the attendees through the site’s stockpiling area and control room, and described the different types of on-site machinery, such as the facility’s double-barrel drum plant and baghouse.

Olsson added that Fulton Hogan was incorporating 20 per cent – and upwards of 40 per cent on occasion – of recycled materials into its operation to improve sustainability.

“Including RAP [reclaimed asphalt pavement] in mixes not only saves on raw material requirements – both aggregates and bitumen – which saves some money, but also stretches resources further and gives waste material a productive home,” he stated.

The Victorian YMN members were also given the opportunity to watch a paving crew in action as they laid down a new road in Berwick. The group was impressed by the speed and experience of the crew as they worked as a single, efficient unit to set the quarry product into its final destination.

“It’s very important for the crew to understand each others’ roles and how each role interacts in completing the job,” asphalt crew manager Craig Ross explained. “Communication and working together is paramount in ensuring the team are kept safe and that a quality finish is achieved.”

The event proved a valuable and enjoyable educational experience, while also offering the young quarry professionals the chance to network with their peers and seniors.

In addition to Victoria, the IQA YMN holds events in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania throughout the year, with any IQA member 35 years old or younger welcome to attend.

Attendees of the Victorian Young Members Network Pit to Road event with Tynong Quarry manager Rodger Jones (second from the right).
Attendees of the Victorian Young Members Network Pit to Road event with Tynong Quarry manager Rodger Jones (second from the right).

* Stephanie Chan accompanied the Victorian IQA Young Members Network on its “Pit to Road” tour on 19 November 2014.

More reading
Young quarry workers observe best practice at site visits




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