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The proposed Coraki Quarry would be co-located on land associated with the existing Petersons Quarry.
The proposed Coraki Quarry would be co-located on land associated with the existing Petersons Quarry.

New quarry proposed to supply major highway upgrade

A one million tonne per annum greenfield basalt quarry is the latest project proposed to supply material for a major highway upgrade.

Quarry Solutions has applied to establish a new quarry in Coraki, New South Wales that would incorporate land associated with Petersons Quarry, one of its existing operations.

Coraki Quarry, which would extract a maximum of one million tonnes per annum with an expected operating life of up to seven years, was primarily proposed to provide aggregate for the Woolgoola to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.

The quarry project’s environmental impact statement (EIS) stated, “It is understood that the Pacific Highway upgrade project will require in the order of 1.23 million tonnes of roadbase and 1.4 million tonnes of aggregate.

“Resource investigations have confirmed that the [proposed Coraki Quarry] site contains in the order of 2.9 million tonnes of unweathered, high quality basalt suitable to supply a significant proportion of the construction materials requirements for the Pacific Highway upgrade project.”

Several other extractive projects have also been proposed to supply the major highway upgrade. Last month, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment issued Hanson with the Secretary’s environmental assessment requirements for its proposed Sancrox quarry expansion, and earlier this year, the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel approved an application to increase extraction at the existing Doonbah quarry, which is located 5km away from the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade site.

Leveraging existing infrastructure

Petersons Quarry, which is owned by Richmond Valley Council but operated by Quarry Solutions, has been supplying quarry materials to the local region for both road construction and private sale since 1916.

The Coraki Quarry EIS explained that extraction for the new operation would predominantly be undertaken within the existing Petersons Quarry pit to “take advantage of the topographic screening available to that location, which will assist in minimising potential risk of environmental nuisance from noise and dust emissions”.

The EIS added that co-locating Coraki Quarry on this land would facilitate a one-way traffic flow system, improving logistical delivery of materials, operational efficiency and safety for quarry staff and haulage contractors.

Petersons Quarry’s existing site office, weighbridge and visitor carpark will also be utilised by Coraki Quarry, with an additional site office and workshop to be temporarily established for the new operation.

The EIS claimed that establishing Coraki Quarry would be more beneficial than sourcing the highway’s required material from multiple, smaller resources spread throughout the region, adding that its approval would mean those smaller resources could be preserved for long-term use on other local projects.

It was said the project would deliver a “significant” economic boost to the local area through expenditure and job opportunities, which would include traineeships for ‘school leavers’. Quarry Solutions also indicated that should Coraki Quarry be approved, the operator would host site visits for local schools and other community groups to educate the public on the role quarries play within the construction industry and how building materials are produced.

The Coraki Quarry project proposal is on public exhibition until 10 December.

More reading
Highway provides impetus for quarry expansion
Quarry proposes expansion to continue regional supply

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Thursday, 24 October, 2019 2:39am
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