The Melancthon Quarry
The Need for Aggregates
Aggregates are one of the foundations of our modern society, and as such, they have been given priority within the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). Ontario is expected to continue to experience strong growth over the next 20 years, with demand in the high growth area of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) of approximately 100 million tonnes of aggregate per year. Studies have shown that within a 75 km radius of the Vaughan Corporate City Center only about 300 million tonnes of high quality aggregate reserves remain. This looming aggregate shortfall will require the licensing of significant new resources, while balancing the today’s social and environmental concerns. Fully 93 percent of unlicensed bedrock resources in south-central Ontario are constrained by existing urbanization, environmental features, and/or agricultural activity. In February 2010 the Ministry of Natural Resources in conjunction with a diverse group of stakeholders, released the State of Aggregate Resource of Ontario Study (SAROS). SAROS analysed several alternatives capable of supplying 35 million tonnes of aggregate per year to provide guidance in determining a path forward to address the shortfall. The alternatives that were examined include:
- Mine tailings;
- River or lake dredged sand/gravel;
- Manufactured sands;
- Underground bedrock mining;
SAROS concluded that mega-quarries are one of the most feasible sources of aggregate. The Melancthon area is well suited for the development of a large scale quarry. The Aggregate Resource Inventory Paper 163 – Revised (ARIP) identifies approximately 5,200 ha in Melancthon as a Selected Bedrock Resource Area that should be protected for excavation. This resource translates into approximately 6 billion tonnes of high quality Amabel dolostone that could serve the GGH. The Melancthon Quarry was conceived, is designed and will be operated to create long term aggregate supply that balances the need for aggregate with the protection of human health, safety and the environment. This project will greatly benefit the Melancthon area which is struggling to maintain its population and diversify its economy and revenue sources.