If you ever have the opportunity to tour a quarry, take it! If you have ever wondered what goes on inside a rock quarry, the simple explanation is this is where big rocks come from.  You need to realize that no two rock quarries are the same. They operate pretty much the same, but depending on where they are located and what kind of stone is being quarried, can make them operate just a little different.

A rock quarry is mining for big rocks that are eventually made into smaller rocks or sand. Then they are sold to builders or contractors where they are made into bridges, highways and roadways, houses, and shopping malls. You’ll also find the rock in your church or your kid’s schools and even in the office building where you work.

First Things First

Before a rock quarry can be started, the geologists need to find the right place. They survey the land, and the site is designed. Then the legal part comes with licenses, permits and other “red tape” issues are handled. Next, the company will purchase equipment to build roadways to the facility so they can build the processing plant.

The Good Environmental Neighbor

Because rock quarries are built close to neighborhoods, it is important that the quarry is built with buffer zones around it. This is necessary to minimize the noise and not disturb the neighborhoods.  The entrance is usually landscaped so that it looks natural and special water systems are installed. The water used to process the stone is recycled.

Site Preparation

The land must be cleared to get where the rock is located below the surface. Often, the quarry sites will donate the cleared materials to the surrounding community. Then next comes the blasting and drilling that is needed to get the rock out of the ground.  The process used will depend on how much rock is needed, how it is to be broken and other factors.

The blasting process takes only a few seconds and is monitored for the sound and the vibrations that are traveling into the surrounding community. Pit loaders remove the large pieces and dump them into haul trucks.