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Quarrying at Wick

On any visit to Wick Golden Valley LNR, you cannot fail to notice the huge limestone quarry, operated by Cemex. The quarry is a huge, impressive hole in the ground, and there's often lots of activity going on as big trucks move material back and forth. But what is limestone, and why go to all this effort to get at it?

What is Limestone?

Chemically, limestone is calcium carbonate, CaCO3. It is formed mainly from the remains of organisms that lived in ancient seas; see the Geology Overview for more information.

6-Wheeled Articulated Dump Truck

Why Quarry Limestone?

Limestone is a valuable commodity. Amongst it's uses are:

What goes on at the quarry

Dumping Earth
Before limestone can be removed, excess rocks and
sub-soil must be removed and dumped elsewhere on site
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Levelling Earth
A bulldozer then levels and compacts the dumped
material to ensure that as much can be placed here
as possible - despite the huge size, space is tight in a quarry
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Dump Truck
Limestone is blasted from the quarry face
and then placed in these trucks, which
transport the raw material across the quarry.
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Aggregate Processing Plant
The limestone is dumped from the truck
into the processing plant where it is crushed,
ready to be used in many applications.

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