A quarry is an excavation or system of excavations made for the purpose of, or in connection with, the getting of minerals (whether in their natural state or in solution or suspension) or products of minerals, being neither a mine nor merely a well or borehole or a well and borehole combined.
The Quarry industry in Ireland is a significant sector of the Irish economy. Though production levels are significantly reduced from those of 2008 there are still a large number of operating quarries and sand pits and the industry is in a good position to expand if there is growth in the construction industry.
Limestone is the most commonly extracted mineral although other types of rock and aggregates are produced. Over 2 million tonnes of finely crushed limestone is used each year to improve lime-deficient soils in many parts of Ireland. Stone, sand and aggregates are used as the main ingredients to produce value added products such as cement, concrete, blocks, pre-cast sections, asphalt, tiles and numerous other products.
Source: Health & Safety Authority
Health and safety is the number one priority in the quarrying industry. Quarry work involves a number of hazards and risk; by identifying these risks, it allows mitigation measures to be put in place to ensure all round safety.
The industry works closely with the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) to continuously improve the industry, for example HAS Site Inspections, Quarry Safety Week and mandatory training for all employees.
Minister for Natural Resources, Joe McHugh, T.D., launched the new Directory of Active Quarries and Pits in Ireland on Wednesday 5th November, 2014, at the annual conference of the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) in Dublin Castle.
GSI Quarry Database is a comprehensive database of active quarries and pits in the R.O.I., periodically updated and available as digital products. The database contains information such as quarry products, location and contact details and production data.
Then president of IMQS, Siobhán Tinnelly, officiated at the launch. Although the current directory is finalised, the digital version will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.