* John Walrond awarded Honorary Fellowship
* Gordon Laing receives Komatsu Travel Award
* Dean Torstonson awarded Goughs Travel Award
* Winstone Aggregates secure inaugural EECA Award

Holcim’s McDonald Lime Oparere Quarry scoops three awards ! McDonald?s Lime Oparure Quarry, majority owned and operated by Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd, received awards for its initiatives and commitment to the environment, safety and the community at the Institute of Quarrying / Aggregate & Quarry Association Combined Conference in Auckland July 2008

The quarry, located near Waitomo Village, supplies over 750,000 tonnes of high quality limestone each year used for commercial and agricultural purposes throughout the North Island.

Environmental initiatives contributing to the MIMICO Environmental Award include water management through water recycling and specialised stone washing, rehabilitation of large areas of the quarry site for agricultural purposes to a condition better than that present prior to quarrying, and adoption of a carbon management plan to measure and reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from quarry operations.

Cave conservation and community involvement have demonstrated the company?s strong commitment to corporate social responsibility which was recognised with the NZ Quarry & Mining Magazine Community & Social Sustainability Award. This commitment has included working with the local tourist industry to optimise blast patterns to prevent effects on the significant cave infrastructure in the area. Quarry open days and secondary school group visits teach the community about the extractive industry.

The Winstone Aggregates Safety Trophy, also awarded to Oparure Quarry, recognises initiatives such as site safety inductions as part of contractor management, confined space entry procedures, an incident management system for reporting and following up of incidents, together with other initiatives forming part of the Holcim Zero Harm programme. The site has had no lost time injuries (where an employee is unable to resume work for the next shift due to injury) since 2003.

John Reeves, General Manager Lime for Holcim New Zealand said ?These prestigious awards are the top acknowledgements in each category to be given within the industry. They recognise the efforts of McDonald?s Lime staff at Oparure Quarry and other Holcim staff who have been involved in the various safety, environment and community initiatives. It is great to see their commitment recognised.?

Region paying for quarries’ bad image
5:00AM Wednesday July 09, 2008
By Alanah May Eriksen, NZ Herald

The people who dig up rocks and gravel want to change the image of their business.

They say the widespread belief that quarries are dirty and noisy is blocking development of new quarrying in the Auckland region, and boosting the cost of rock and stone.

The Aggregate and Quarry Association says Aucklanders have to pay dearly for rock and stone, as no new quarry has been approved in the region for more than 10 years.

Instead, Auckland brings in tonnes of rock from Northland, Waikato and even the South Island.

The cost of aggregate doubles for every 30km it has to be trucked from a quarry to a building site.

“Quarries are not the dirty neighbours that many people perceive,” said [Aggregate & Quarry] Association President, James Boyce.

“Most quarries carefully monitor the quality of their water and air.

“New Zealanders, and their ambitions for New Zealand, need aggregate – lots of it. But they perceive quarries will bring aggravation, especially in urban or semi-urban areas .

“Unfortunately, this is a view that most local authorities fail to challenge.”

The association, which will discuss the issues at its 40th annual conference being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel , is calling for a national body to be set up to address resource issues and the appointment of a minister responsible for aggregate. They want a national policy on aggregate supply set up under the Resource Management Act which would set standards for councils to meet in long-term planning for local aggregate supplies.

Local authorities would have to designate extraction zones, with quarry operators given a say in regional long-term planning.

Nationally, less than 14 million tonnes of aggregate was mined in 1991, 4 tonnes per person. Now about 50 million tonnes are produced – about 11 tonnes for every New Zealander.

A panel discussion on access to rock and stone will include members of the aggregate industry and local councils.