What is Quarrying?

Quarrying is the process of removing rock, sand, gravel or other minerals from the ground in order to use them to produce materials for construction or other uses. So, a Quarry is any such working, on the surface of the earth, where minerals are extracted. Quarries are also known by other names around the world: 'surface mine', ‘pit’, 'open pit' or 'opencast mine'.

The term 'Quarrying' is often associated with a place where natural stone is extracted to create aggregates sometimes called 'blue rock' or 'blue metal'.

The term 'Mining' was similarly associated with places where minerals were extracted to produce metals or coal.

What do Quarries produce?

Quarries principally produce sand and gravel and crushed rock for construction and these materials are usually described as aggregates.

In addition, Quarries produce chemical grade limestone, gypsum, common clays, china clay or kaolin, ball clays and silica sand. Thus, Quarries are often associated with processing plants the most common of which are ready-mixed-concrete plants, coating plants to produce asphalt and bituminous road-making materials, cement and lime burning kilns, concrete block and pipe works, brick works, pottery works and plaster/plasterboard factories.

Why do we need Quarries?

The materials produced by quarrying are essential to our everyday lives, providing the construction materials to build roads and construct buildings, delivering vital minerals to agriculture – to name just a few uses.

It is tempting to see a Quarry as an undesirable ‘hole in the ground’ , but we need our Quarrying Industry to supply us with vital materials for our economy. Furthermore, we need talented, professional women and men to operate Quarries in a way that is safe, productive and good for our environment.

Quarrying is such a dynamic industry that strives for diversity and equality, meaning that no matter who you are, or what you’ve done, there’s a high chance that there’s a job for you. The Quarrying Industry has well paying careers available in operations, administration, environment, information technology, sales and marketing, engineering, finance, transportation and logistics. 

Quarrying simply takes natural resources like rocks, sand and gravel from the earth, to help create almost every structure you see around you.