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Quarry industry reflects hard times

Quarry industry reflects hard times

The population may be steadily growing, but the nation’s demand for aggregates has been reducing since the boom year of 2005 when almost 50 million tonnes was required. In 2009 only 33 million tonnes was needed - a reduction of some 43% - a very sharp decline and a sure sign of a nation in economic strife.

Over half of the industry’s production is required for roading. It takes about 4,000 tonnes of aggregates in the construction of just one kilometre of standard highway pavement, while the building of a new six-lane motorway can consume in excess of 20,000 tonnes for the same distance. About a quarter of annual aggregates demand is for construction of residential and commercial/industrial buildings.

“The industry provides the raw materials required for construction,” said the Aggregate and Quarry Association’s president Mike Lord, “and that demand has fallen off over the past few years. However the government’s plans for infrastructure development and the demand created for the rebuilding of Canterbury may ease the downward tend.

“When the quarries are humming, we’ll know that New Zealand is growing again, something we all want to be part of.”


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