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Shortage of quarry reserves is a growing problem

Newly published report says lack of new reserves now having serious impact on the industry

THE quarrying industry’s failure over many years to replenish aggregates production with consents for new reserves is now having a serious impact on the industry, according to a major new report by industry marketing specialists BDS Marketing Research Ltd.

The report estimates the volumes of reserves and reserves life at each operating and inactive pit and quarry in Great Britain and concludes that, of the largest regions, the South East and Yorkshire have the lowest sand and gravel reserves life, with areas such as London, West Sussex, Hampshire and South Yorkshire particularly badly affected.

Elsewhere, Warwickshire and the Cotswold Water Park are also suffering from a shortage of reserves, and BDS say that around 20 sand and gravel pits could close in the West Midlands alone within the next five years, unless new reserves are granted.

By company, BDS believe that Hanson have above the industry average for sand and gravel reserves life, while Aggregate Industries are thought to have slightly below the industry average. In terms of volumes, Tarmac are estimated to have the most consented reserves, followed by Hanson and CEMEX.

The reserves position is much better in crushed rock, although here too BDS have identified some local shortages. One concern is the future supply of nationally important high-PSV stone from quarries in North Yorkshire.

In crushed rock, the position of Aggregate Industries is believed to be better, as they are thought to have the highest volume of consented reserves. According to BDS, the company has a particularly strong reserves position in Scotland and the South West.

The order of companies with the highest volume of crushed rock reserves is believed to be Aggregate Industries, Tarmac and Hanson.

As well as site-specific information, the new 150-page report also includes details of more than 600 planning developments. Supporting graphs and analyses identify the reserves position at a county, regional and national level for all aggregates companies in the industry.

For further details of the report entitled: ‘Estimated reserves of pits & quarries in Great Britain in 2011’, contact BDS Marketing.


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