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Plans to extend life of quarry by 35 years

World Cement,

In Somerset, UK, Aggregate Industries is planning to extend the life of Torr Quarry at East Cranmore by 30 years. Currently, the quarry provides jobs for about 300 people and work for many other contractors in the area, but it only has only six years more work. Aggregate Industries has provided stone from this quarry for several major building projects in southern England, including the second Severn Crossing and the Channel tunnel.

Plans will be presented to the local council, which will request that Aggregate Industries extract an extra 120 million t of stone from the quarry. The company proposes to dig down another 115 m in the centre of the quarry, taking it to just 3 m above sea level; any deeper and it would be classed as a mine. By digging down, the company can increase production without extending the 600 acre site outwards.

If approved, the quarry, which the company says contributes £15 million a year to the economy, would be able to continue extraction until 2040. In 2042, all quarrying agreements around the Mendips come to an end.

When extraction is ended, the quarry would be allowed to flood, providing recreational use, a reservoir, leisure and tourism.

Torr Quarry is one of the few quarries with its own rail line. The company plans to continue to process rock brought to the area by the rail link. Business parks using the railway line would also be created, as well as a railway station for passenger use.

Aggregate Industries has said that extending the life of the quarry will not result in an increase in the amount of stone moved by road.

The planning application will be presented to the local Council in the next few months and it is anticipated that it may take up to a year for a decision to be made.

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