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Sand quarry consent imminent

The location of the proposed sand quarry near Cambridge. Google Maps

A proposed sand quarry near Cambridge is expected to meet the demand from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty and replace several quarries that are coming to an end.

The project is operated by RS Sands, which is a joint venture between landscape supplies retailer Revital and established quarrying company Stevenson Aggregates.

Sand is a key ingredient in concrete and local supplies are preferred to keep transport and construction costs down.

The quarry location is at 77 Newcombe Rd, about 2km from Cambridge. It is near the new motorway which will help with cartage of the expected 400,000 tonnes of sand anually.

A resource consent application had yet to be lodged by mid-December but a spokesperson for RS Sands confirmed details of the proposal.

The quarry site will employ up to 10 people and has a likely life of 25 years. The processing area will cover four hectares with a total excavation area of 23ha. Only a fraction of this will be operational at any one time, the spokesperson says.

“The consenting process involves significant consultation with immediate neighbours, Iwi, and other affected parties. We believe this is a critically important part of the process, and welcome the input of the community.”

Progressive rehabilitation to pasture will occur once the sand has been excavated.

“Expert assessments have been carried out to determine the effects of the operation, and the best ways to manage and mitigate these.

“The proposed quarry will employ the most environmentally sensitive management techniques, and reflect major gains in quarry development technology over recent years.

“We are committed to listening to any concerns, as a means of ensuring an outcome that, as far as is practicably and reasonably possible, addresses the needs of all stakeholders.”

The location of the proposed RS Sand quarry has been chosen for its high quality resource, its central location between major markets, and its easy access to State Highway 1.

“This access minimises the longer-term presence of trucks on the road in more densely populated areas,” the spokesperson says.

South-bound traffic will leave the site directly onto State Highway 1. Only northbound traffic will go through Cambridge, and only until the northern onramps to SH1 are constructed.

The RS Sand quarry proposal includes a three-metre high bund planted with native plants to screen the site.

“In addition, it proposes more than 10ha of native forest planting, wetland rehabilitation and riparian protection along the Karapiro Stream that will improve biodiversity, sequester carbon, and improve water quality.”

Water and dust suppression systems will be designed to minimise dust, and contain it within the site.

The operation will not encroach on the Karapiro Stream, with a newly-created native forest and bunding between the quarry and the stream creating a buffer.

“As the quarry is located in sand and above the groundwater table, water run-off will be minimal. Storm water will be discharged from the site into treatment ponds, before being returned to the stream in accordance with water standards set out in resource consents.”

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