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The history of quarrying

It all started with men literally hacking rock from the ground by hand using the most basic tools. In those days, the quarrying operation was decidedly precarious. Think ropes, narrow ledges and iron bars and you have a scene very much at odds with today’s safety-conscious industry. On the transport front, horses gave way to steam trains and sometimes to canal barges as a means of moving material between quarry, processing plant and market.

Rock for roads was one thing. But the illustrious Romans had also cottoned on to the fact that if you subjected limestone to great heat and crushed the resulting lumps, you could make an early form of lime-based cement. And from cement, you could make concrete and build with real strength.

The quarrying process that provides us with our essential minerals has undoubtedly come a very long way technologically. Quarry plant is as high tech as in any other industry. Yet underneath it still remains in many ways one of the most basic of all our industries. Man takes minerals from the ground and uses them to satisfy his most urgent needs: places to work, rest and play and the means to move between them.  Minerals make life work!

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