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Another poor year for new quarry reserves

THE UK aggregate industry’s inability to replenish its output with new reserves is continuing to give serious cause for concern, particularly in light of the fact that markets fell by more than 10% during 2008.

In a new analysis of the situation by BDS Marketing Research Ltd, it is estimated that aggregates companies obtained consents to extract around 190 million tonnes of new reserves in 2008, compared with actual production of just under 200 million tonnes during the year.

Nevertheless, BDS say last year was still a much better year for companies than 2007, when only 100 million tonnes of new aggregates reserves were consented, representing less than half of total extraction during that year.

 

According to BDS, the 2008 figures were helped by four major consents – each for more than 10 million tonnes of new reserves – awarded to Tarmac, Longcliffe Quarries and CEMEX.

Since 2000, BDS believe that in only one year has the industry replenished the volume of aggregates extracted. This was in 2006, when one consent for 420 million tonnes helped the situation.

During 2008, only the North West and Midlands regions managed to obtain new reserves in excess of annual production, while the East Midlands and Yorkshire witnessed new permissions close to the level of extraction.

The availability of new reserves in the South East continues to be of greatest concern, although companies in this region were relatively successful last year, with two thirds of extraction replaced with new reserves.

However, 2008 was especially poor for companies in the South West, East Anglia and Wales, where less than two months’ production was replaced with new reserves.

For further information about this latest industry analysis, contact BDS Marketing.

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