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Cemex applies for expansion to quarry operations in Florida

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World Cement,

Cemex Construction Materials Florida is looking to expand mining operations in Brooksville and has addressed local concerns that the additional land use would add to the noise and vibrations from the quarry. The expansion requires about 730 acres of land to be re-zoned from residential and commercial to mining and commercial, a request which must go before planning and zoning commissioners and Hernando County commissioners. Local people have voiced concerns about the detrimental environmental effects, including contaminated drinking water, deforestation, and noise, as well as fears over the potential for quarrying activities to cause sinkholes to open up in the area. Speaking to local press, James Morris, regional environmental manager with Cemex, has assured residents that the operation would be carefully controlled. Only around half of the requested 730 acres would actually be mined, he said, and the closest structure to any blasting would be 250 ft away. The company plans to build a 3-mile long conveyor belt to transport mined materials to the existing processing plant rather than using trucks.

Morris added that the operations will not effect the water table, and that operations do not cause sinkholes. Some 65% of mining will be done by excavating and haul trucks, while the remaining 35% will be by blasting, carried out with new technology that substantially reduces noise. He further stated that residents would be alerted when blasting is scheduled so that they are not startled by sudden noises. Should any damage be caused by mining, he said, Cemex would take care of it. The company has also offered to help improve the nearby cemetery, which has been another item of concern for local people.

Cemex says the expansion is necessary to continue operations and preserve the jobs of 215 people working at the Fort Dade plant. If approved, mining operations on the new land would begin in 2019 and continue for 20 years.

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