Quarries are a great place to find stone building material. A quarry is an open pit mine that has usually been excavated well below sea level to get to the rock beneath. Some quarries are as deep as a tall building, and once these mines are abandoned they usually fill with water and become lakes. There are different types of quarries based on what type of rock they excavate. The following terms are common stones that a quarry will produce.
Marble – A metamorphic rock usually made of calcite. Marble is used in many famous buildings, such as the Taj Mahal, and classical sculptures and comes in many different colors, from pure white to near black.
Limestone – A sedimentary rock also commonly used for building materials. The Great Pyramids were built in limestone blocks.
Granite – A igneous rock that is one of the most durable types of stone in the world. Granite can be cut and polished into a variety of colors and is used for construction projects, especially outdoors because of its ability to withstand the elements.
Chalk – A soft white sedimentary rock that because of its softer nature, has many uses in its powdered form, but isn't very useful in construction unless it is mixed with other substances.
Slate – A metamorphic rock that is traditionally used for slate roofs.
Gravel – While gravel can occur naturally in river beds, gravel is also a by-product of quarries. Gravel is crushed pebble size pieces of rock, usually from limestone or sandstone and is used for paving roads. As of 2006 the United States is the leading producer and consumer of gravel.
Sand – Like gravel, sand can occur naturally but it can also be a by-product of quarries. Sand has a variety of uses, from agricultural to constructional.
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Quarries are loud, active places where rock is crushed using a variety of methods, such as dynamite or machines. To excavate rock, many methods must be employed, usually involving heavy machinery and explosives to break up big blocks and chunks of rock in the earth. Crucial to the mining and excavation industries, quarries are essentially open pits where rock such as limestone and marble is extracted.
These rocks, some more delicate than others, are used in the production of minerals and materials ranging from slate to coal. Different quarries may specialize in mining different materials, such as chalk and clay, or even gypsum and sandstone. Blasting, drilling and other techniques are employed by workers to excavate mined materials such as granite.
Masons and contractors frequently buy from quarry companies, as they need gravel, mortar sand, marble, and other natural stone for their building projects. Many safety precautions must be taken, as this business is extremely dangerous. Old, closed quarries have also been historically used among kids as swimming holes, also a dangerous, not to mention illegal, option. They often develop in and around lakes, and fill with water.
Aggregate products such as cement, mulch, and crushed stone are other examples of important commodities that quarries produce. Typical customers of quarries include retail home improvement stores, contractors, gardeners, and landscapers. The supplies created by rock quarries are most often used in building and paving capacities. Quarries are usually found through business referrals or by a quick telephone or online directory search.
With services ranging from equipment rentals and contractor referrals to delivery and on-site consultation, a quarry company can serve many purposes in a community.