State and Province News February 2013


February 1, 2013

To keep up to date with this breakdown of news in the United States and Canada, visit for daily updates.


by Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief




Two state legislators gave their support to the Gurley Town Council, saying they would do all they can to prevent Vulcan Materials from building a new quarry on Gurley Mountain, reports. State Rep. Wayne Johnson and state Sen. Shadrack McGill said that assistance could include promoting legislation prohibiting new quarries in the state from being located near any school. The town recently lost a $5 million lawsuit to M&M Materials due to its effort to prevent a proposed quarry inside the town limits. It is appealing that verdict. The Vulcan proposal, however, is on property outside the town limits in unincorporated Madison County. The town council passed one resolution stating its opposition to the quarry and a second that asks state elected officials for their assistance, as well as asking the Madison County Commission, Madison County Board of Education, and the Huntsville City Council to approve resolutions against the quarry.




Granite Construction Inc. announced that it acquired Northbrook, Ill.-based Kenny Construction Co. for $130 million. Kenny is a privately-owned company with approximately 425 employees. It offers a range of services related to power transmission and distribution, construction management, tunnels, trenchless and underground utilities, and heavy civil infrastructure. Its projected 2012 revenues are $270 million, with a backlog of about $390 million. “This acquisition is an important milestone for Granite as we continue to execute on our strategic plan to diversify, strengthen, and grow our business,” said James H. Roberts, Granite’s president and CEO, in a written statement.




Alan Wessel, senior vice president of the western region of Vulcan Materials Co., was named to the board of directors for the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University (SDSU). According to, Wessel is one of six business executives and SDSU alumnus appointed to the board. Wessel graduated from SDSU in 1981 with a finance degree.




The Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network, and Openlands filed a complaint seeking judicial review of a silica sand mining permit granted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to Mississippi Sand, LLC. Morris Daily Herald reports that the complaint alleges IDNR failed to protect Starved Rock State Park when it approved an 80-acre open pit mine. The 24-page complaint also claims that the Office of Mines and Minerals failed to follow state law, and its own guidelines, in reviewing the permit. The groups say Mississippi Sand provided incomplete and inaccurate information in its permit application.




The state’s stone quarries are still working at less than half speed and waiting for demand to pick up, Business First reports. According to the report, quarries are working employees fewer hours and not crushing during winter months. State highway spending peaked at $1 billion in 2008, fell to $750 million in 2009, and rose to $931 million in 2012, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Some operators are optimistic, noting that residential building is on the rebound, while the Ohio River Bridges Project is also likely to create demand when construction begins in June.




Kingtown Corp. requested a special permit to remove a quarter-million cubic yards of sand and gravel from 10 acres of its 80-acre property off Long Pond Road in Plymouth. According to the Old Colony Memorial, the company was scheduled to appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in January, but asked for a continuance. The matter was held until the ZBA’s meeting on March 6.




After a 2 1/2-hour meeting in January, the Oronoko Township Planning Commission postponed a decision on Phil Hecht’s proposed gravel mining project and asked for more information from Hecht. The Herald-Palladium reports that commissioners asked to know the quantity of reserves on the site, market demand for the material, and how dust would be monitored. Those were the same questions an attorney for one of Hecht’s neighbors asked during the marathon meeting. Hecht’s attorney and engineer said they would provide the information, although the engineer noted that the commission should have requested the information months earlier in the process. Commissioners were not satisfied with two soil borings as an indication that there is gravel on the site.





During the 2012 annual convention of the Missouri Limestone Producers Association (MLPA), members were elected to serve three year terms on the MLPA board, the association reports. They include John Griesemer, Springfield Underground; David Guillaume, APAC; Rodney Linker, Tower Rock Stone; and Greg Schildberg, Schildberg Construction Co. Sam Hayes, G.W. Van Keppel Co., was also elected to represent associate members. Officers for 2013 include President John Griesemer, Springfield Underground; Vice President Dick Kaler, Hunt Martin Materials; Secretary-Treasurer Chris Upp, Conco Quarries.



New Hampshire

CSG Holdings paid $150,000 to resolve EPA claims that it allowed polluted storm water and process water from its Columbia site to flow into nearby waters, reports.




During a January meeting, Llano County Commissioners discussed where to mine gravel in order to benefit precincts 2 and 3, as well as whether to purchase property or trade existing county properties with private landowners. According to the Llano County Journal, gravel in the county’s current pits is not high quality. They also talked about testing deposit samples and where to locate the site, particularly with regard to balancing transportation costs with proximity to neighbors. No action was taken.




The Department of Energy prepared a draft study proposing to expand nine borrow pits and mine a new one to yield 14-million cubic yards of sand and gravel. The Tri-City Herald reports that the Hanford sites would provide sand and gravel for a 10-year supply of fill material needed for environmental cleanup work near the Columbia River. The report notes that expanding multiple pits would reduce the amount of distance sand and gravel would be hauled and, therefore, minimize greenhouse gas emissions.




According to the Star Tribune, as frac sand prospecting surges across western Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota, local officials are dealing themselves into the lucrative business in several counties and townships — often just skirting the law to do it. “We’re coming dangerously close to crossing the line, and everyone has their head in the sand,” said Wisconsin State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout. “No one wants to talk about this.” The newspaper detailed several examples, including an official who allegedly turned down one sand mine proposal, only to encourage the company that wanted to mine the land to mine his own property. His proposal, unlike an earlier one, received support from the board on which the public official served.




National Lime & Stone Co. President and Chief Operating Officer C. Paul Palmer IV announced the company purchased Chesterville Sand & Gravel in Morrow County. According to, the purchase includes sand and gravel reserves, as well as processing equipment. Terms of the deal were not released. The company now has 34 locations in two states.



Province News

Athabasca Minerals Inc., based in Edmonton, Alberta, announced that Michael Peck was appointed to its board of directors. Peck has more than 30 years of executive management experience in the mining industry. He replaces Dale Nolan, who retired from the board and management team near the end of 2012.

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