When many Canadians think about Alberta’s Oil Sands, they picture the big names such as Suncor, Shell, Syncrude and Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL).
Brent Craig knew from a very young age that he wanted to have a career in the sand and gravel business.
Upon arrival at the Walker Aggregates Severn Pines Quarry just North of Orillia, Ont., it doesn’t take long to realize there is something different about this operation
On the blackboard in the boardroom of Dufferin Aggregates’ Milton, Ont., quarry are scrawled several quotes, the most striking of which is from Albert Einstein, who wrote: “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Aggregate Processing Services Ltd. runs 10 portable crushing spreads and five portable washing plants from site to site throughout Ontario.
If the proliferation of new car dealers, big box stores, $35 per plate restaurants and modern housing developments is any indication of the state of the economy in St. John’s, N.L., then Canada’s most easterly city is doing extremely well.
Last year, fourth-generation, privately owned, Calgary-based BURNCO Rock Products Ltd. acquired three new minerals processing plants: a Mobicat MC 120 Z jaw crusher; a Mobirex MR 122 Z impact crusher; and a Mobiscreen M 19 D mobile screen.
The decal on Sarah Bond’s well used hardhat says it all. “I LOVE EXPLOSIVES,” it states in bold capital letters with a stylized red heart replacing the word “Love.” Bond, who is just 26 years old, is the drill and blast supervisor at Lafarge Canada Inc’s Texada Island operation in southern British Columbia.
One of the challenges in producing aggregates from recycled concrete and asphalt can be the variation in feed materials. Recycled concrete in particular can vary considerably in size, rebar content, hardness, and even colour.
Based in Boucherville, Que., Construction DJL Inc. is a prominent name in the province’s infrastructure industry.
By any measure, 2009 was a tough year for Canada’s biggest aggregate operations.
In compiling this report, one of the most striking aspects of feedback from producers, suppliers and economists was the wide variation in responses, depending on province
The former Milton Limestone Quarry in the Town of Milton, Region of Halton, is on the edge of the province’s major population centre: the Greater Toronto Area. The quarry opened in 1958 along with others in the local area to provide construction materials to build the new provincial Highway 401.
Readers will not be surprised to hear that most of Canada’s largest aggregate producers reported an overall drop in 2008 volumes compared to 2007, with a strong first half in most cases overpowered by a sharp fall off in the last quarter. In terms of total 2008 production, the Susan Lake sand and gravel operation of Athabasca Minerals was easily Canada’s biggest single aggregate producing location with 11.8 million tonnes. Unlike all the other producers in our Top 10 listing however, Susan Lake’s huge production number is the combined total of a number of separate portable production spreads, operated by different companies on the same property. (See page 10, “Giant operation meets demand”).
Located some 85 km north of Fort McMurray, Susan Lake’s numbers are certainly attention grabbing. Total sand and gravel sales of 11.83 million tonnes for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2008. Up to ten separate crushing spreads, four wash plants and two hot mix asphalt plants in production at the same time. Sales of 50,000 tonnes in a single twelve hour shift, of which 30,000 tonnes was shipped in 1,500 loads by 280 highway trucks and 20,000 tonnes was hauled directly to oil sands customers by 20 off road trucks carrying up to 350 tonnes in each load. Even higher individual peak numbers for both highway shipments and off road shipments on other days. Such is the scale of this operation that some of its monthly sales numbers exceed annual totals for many aggregate operations. Some 2.1 million tonnes were sold in September 2008, followed by 1.6 million tonnes in October and 1.9 million tonnes in November, for a three month total of 5.6 million tonnes.
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