Here, one of our directors, the quarry manager and our main liason officer are inspecting the geological nature of a new quarry. During this test they will also use sophisticated equipment to ascertain the petrograpical and strutural formation of the granite.
It can take many months, or even years, to secure a vaild government licence to enable us to open a new quarry. Many different aspects are taken into account such as road access, water recycling, our past history and experience, checking that water table levels are not damaged, expected production capacity, permits are neither cheap nor given out to just anyone therefore we must also be sure that there is a market demand for the material.New Quarry
Here one of our directors and the quarry manager discuss the properties of the new quarry. In the intermediate foreground (the middle left of the image) you can see some of the test blocks that have already been extracted.
It is very rare that we can operate our quarries 12 months of the year purely because of the monsoons which can flood both the quarry faces and wash-out access roads. It is important for potential customers to understand that quarrying is an arduous and often dangerous task for which we have to be well-prepared for the saftey of our employees.New Access Road
Once a new quarry has started to be opened, a new roadway is required to allow various machinery into the quarry. As you can see, the roadway is excavated out of the hillside, and as can be seen in this image it is the first stage of this process. A bulldozer is then run over it to smooth it down to make the ride easier for the lorries in and out of the quarry.
Over the years of granite block extraction new entry and exit roads will be created as new quarry faces (sometimes known as pits) are opened-up and expanded or quarried to a greater depth.Quarry Geology
This image shows the unusual geology of our Dolerite Black granite quarry from which we extract some of the best granite that can be purchased anywhere in the world. As you can see, there was at least 6 metres (20 feet) of overburden before we actually reached the sheet rock bed.
Granite block extraction is different in every quarry, the basic principles are the same but the natural petrography dictates how we approach and depart each site, where initial quarry tests are done and which ares will yield the best results with the minimum of expenditure. Only years of experience by our quarrymasters will help in getting this done as efficiently and as quickly as possible.Block Squaring
After excavation, our rough blocks are made rectangular so that as little waste as possible is exported to the customer, thus saving transportation and shipping costs. This is also labour saving for the customer and ecologically sound since there is no point in shipping waste.
These days most blocks are extracted using large pneumatic drills thus making the blocks fairly rectangular, however we occasionally have to resort to old tried and trusted methods when blocks have split naturally or simply need "tidying-up" before being taken from the quarry to the factory or at the request from a customer's inspection team prior to loading in a container, after all, there's no point in loading waste.