February 2, 2014
by Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief
To keep up to date with this breakdown of news in the United States and Canada, visit
www.AggMan.com for daily updates.
APAC Mid-South, Inc. is considering shutting down its operation on Highway 169 in Opelika after experiencing continued problems with sinkholes near the operation. According to WTVM.com, the company has spent millions of dollars repairing sinkholes and trying to prevent new ones from developing by restructuring large portions of several roads and building a new water discharge system. When new sinkholes continued to develop, a lawyer for the company told the television station that the company was considering scaling back the size of the operation or moving it to another location. The quarry has been in operation since the Civil War.
A public hearing on an East Granby quarry was continued from Jan. 15 to Feb. 5. The operator, Galasso, is seeking a third phase of expansion, including clearing of 22.9 acres and mining on 17.6 of those acres. Galasso has been working on its application for two years, the Granby-East Granby Patch reports. The hearing was continued at the applicant’s request so it has more time to revise plans according to commission and staff comments.
Contract hauler Lewis Pippin, who owns Junior Pippin Trucking Co. and hauls aggregates for Vulcan Materials Co.’s Conyers and Grayson quarries, is sharing a unique message with his most recent truck purchases. NewtonCitizen.com reports that his two new dump trucks are painted black and pink and sport pink lettering and breast cancer ribbons. “I want to raise money and awareness because breast cancer is a hideous disease — any cancer is,” Pippin told the newspaper. His wife, Lisa, was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and is now in remission.
Winter storms dropped continuous snow on Elmhurst at the beginning of the year. As road crews worked non-stop to clear the streets, snow was deposited in the Elmhurst Quarry. According to the Chicago Tribune, the quarry not only serves as a flood protection reservoir, but also doubles as a snow depository in the winter.
Lehigh Hanson closed its Salem quarry, but officials say it could reopen if the market improves. According to the Salem Leader, the operation employed 12 individuals; most of whom were transferred to another Hanson operation. Customers are now being served by the company’s operation in Scott County.
Lafarge announced the sale of five aggregates operations, as well as related assets, to Blueglass Materials for a total enterprise value of $320 million. With these divestments, the company reports, it has largely completed its strategy of refocusing on its core U.S. markets, including cement plants, cement terminals, and aggregate sites along the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.
J.W. Strack, owner of Strack Stone Co., announced a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever stole approximately $20,000 worth of copper wire. The Southeast Missourian reports that more than 6,000 pounds of scrap copper were stolen from the quarry. Cape Girardeau police have reported at least 19 cases of copper theft during the last year. A lieutenant with the police department told the newspaper that thefts tend to rise and fall with copper prices. Strack said the current theft is his second in 12 months.
Kinnelon police alerted residents to blasting at the Riverdale Quarry after receiving calls from residents about the event. According to the Tri-Boro Patch, the police alert notified residents that Picatinny Arsenal, which provides arms and munitions to the U.S. Armed Forces, and Tilcon were conducting blasting at Tilcon’s Riverdale Quarry.
The Lockport Planning Board granted a two-year extraction permit and recommended to the Common Council a one-year special-use permit be granted to Lafarge North America’s Lockport Quarry. The Lockport Union-Sun & Journal reports that the operation needs to expand its quarry in order to stay in business. The operation is seeking approval for mining on a 15-acre city parcel, with mining to take place on 9.1 of those acres. The recommendation was made conditional on a report from the city director of engineering and public works as to whether blasting will affect the city’s water supply line.
On Jan. 1, Donald E. Fane took over as president of Callanan Industries, Inc., following the retirement of Jonas E. Havens. According to the Albany Business Review, Fane joined the company in 1995 and rose up to become executive vice president before being tapped as president. One of his goals, the newspaper reports, is to continue diversifying the company beyond a traditional contractor and into a strategic consultant for customers. Callanan operates six quarries, 11 asphalt production facilities, and 14 ready-mix concrete plants. It is an Oldcastle Materials Inc. subsidiary.
The future health of Bolivar is at question, after residents passed an initiative to rezone property from sand and gravel to agricultural. According to the Times Reporter, the land belongs to Howard Wenger. Approximately 181 acres were purchased from Lawrence Township nearly a decade ago, while an additional 65 acres were purchased in 2012. The second purchase totaled $1.1 million and was welcomed by the Bolivar Village Council because it allowed the village to become debt free, as well as provide a surplus of revenue of approximately $400,000. Last November, some residents, joined by opponents from Lawrence Township, capped a year of arguing with Bolivar Village Council by getting the zoning initiative on the ballot and passing it by a 238-158 vote. Wenger, who owns Massillon Materials, had provided a revenue stream that would have allowed the village to invest in beautification projects to boost tourism and gradually replace old water lines. Now, the mayor says those plans are on hold.
Neither the St. Cloud City Council nor the mayor appealed the Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision to grant a conditional permit for Coldspring by the Jan. 3 deadline. SCTimes.com reports that the conditional use permit allows the operator to expand its quarry by 14.4 acres and allows quarrying operations to move in a different direction from the area defined in its former permit. The permit does include conditions regarding hours of operation, truck traffic, and groundwater monitoring.
Owners of Dallas-based TXI are reportedly exploring a sale of the company and are working with Citigroup to find a buyer. According to Bloomberg, the company has a market valuation of $1.67 billion and may draw interest from Vulcan Materials Co. and Holcim Ltd. Reuters reports that the company’s largest shareholders, Southeastern Asset Management and NNS Holding, have been looking to exit their stakes in the company for some time. During the last month, TXI stock has jumped to a Jan. 9 close of $68.19 per share.
A frac sand operation was assessed an $80,000 fine for discharging sediment into Burnett County wetlands, a creek, and the St. Croix River, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. A civil judgment against Interstate Energy Partners, which owns the operation, and Tiller Corp., which operates it, was announced on Jan. 5. The civil complaint, which states the company failed to maintain dikes and berms in April 2012, stems from a citizen report to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.