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IQ announces Caernarfon Award winner

Caernarfon Award

International presidents reveal New Zealand quarry manager Gavin Hartley as this year’s winner

THE winner and runners-up of the 2021 Caernarfon Award have been revealed by the international presidents of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ).

Since 1989, the international honour has been presented to an IQ member who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of the quarrying sector. Gavin Hartley MIQ, quarry manager at Blackhead Quarry, Dunedin, New Zealand, is this year’s winner.


It was his presentation ‘Quarrying way down South’, highlighting the challenges of quarrying in one of the world’s harshest environments, which was delivered at the IQ Otago/Southland branch mini conference in July 2020, that impressed the IQ presidents.

The international presidents recognized that his presentation demonstrated how IQ members share their skills and expertise with colleagues and other professionals around the world, whilst at the same time expanding their own knowledge and understanding of the science of quarrying; the very principles of what IQ was founded on.

Dean Torstonson (left of photo), IQ New Zealand President, explained: ‘Quarrying in an isolated place and in adverse weather conditions is very challenging. Gavin’s paper provided a snapshot of a small team of quarrying professionals producing aggregate for new building foundations in one of the world’s harshest environments – way down south – in McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

‘It described the landscape, the project, the quarry and equipment, health and safety, the people, and the outcomes, and piqued the interest of everyone associated with the quarrying industry. Congratulations Gavin; the honour is well deserved.’

Gavin Hartley (right of photo) said: ‘To receive an award judged by your peers in New Zealand is awesome, but to be recognized by your peers internationally is an unbelievable honour and I am so proud to be part of such a great industry.’

With an exceptional number of high-quality submissions for the prestigious award, IQ’s presidents also presented four entries with ‘Highly Commended’ recognition.

Gavin Mennie FIQ, Breedon Group, and Martin McGroarty, Fife Council, presented ‘Mineral planning in Scotland’ on behalf of the IQ Scottish branch. The presentation gave the audience a unique insight of the requirements that the operator and the planning authority must consider before, during and after the life of a working site.

Claudia Trotter, Mates in Mind, presented ‘Improving mental health within the workplace’ on behalf of the IQ North Wales branch. Whilst a lot of businesses have structures in place to help staff with issues, her presentation highlighted important information on the help that is available and, more importantly, assisted with dismissing the stigma of asking for help. This was particularly important due to the additional pressures from COVID-19 on people’s well-being.

Simon Tose, Blast Consult, delivered a short online course on ‘Blast design’ to IQ South Africa members. The course covered the fundamentals of blasting and blast design, providing an insight into approaches for developing more efficient blasting methods.

Mark Godden FIQ, Albion Stone, presented ‘Portland Stone – The transition from surface to deep mining’ on behalf of the IQ West of England branch. It outlined the geology of Portland and the important role that Portland stone had played in construction over past centuries, the drivers for going underground in terms of the past and current impact of quarrying on the landscape of Portland, as well as the processes involved in developing the underground excavation work. He also explained how this innovation would secure a long-term future for Portland stone.

Shane Braddy, chair of the IQ International Presidents, said: ‘Despite the challenges caused by the global pandemic, it’s clear to see from the volume of applications to this year’s Caernarfon Award that our international network of Institute of Quarrying organizations has continued to deliver high-quality, informative and educational sessions for our members.

‘On behalf of the IQ, I’d like to congratulate our winner, Gavin Hartley, as well as each of our highly commended runners-up.’


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