Aggregates are among the very essentials
of life, as important to us as the food from our farms.
Quarries, through their products, give
us places to live, places to work, places to play and much more.
They literally underpin our society.
But quarrying does have environmental
Recognising this, the Northern Ireland
industry aims to adopt a responsible approach to its work and
a considerate attitude to its neighbours.
It is easy to regard a quarry as a hole
in the ground. But dig a little deeper and you can start to appreciate
that so many of the good things of life come out of that hole.
In a typical year, Northern Ireland’s
quarry network supports:
the building of 12,000 new homes
£160 million on school and university improvements
a £120 million hospital building programme
maintenance of our road and rail network
improvements to water services
the upgrading of our airports
supplies of special sands and aggregates for our gardens
the turnover of the Northern Ireland quarry industry is approximately
£400 million, 1.75 % of NI GDP
every year nearly 14 tonnes of aggregates are
needed per head of the population in Northern Ireland
a typical family indirectly demands three lorry loads of aggregates
a new house requires some 50 tonnes of aggregates
the quarry products industry employs around 5,600 people in Northern
There are around 160 quarries and sand pits in NI
The construction industry, which contributes around 10% cent
of the Province’s gross domestic product, is completely
reliant on quarrying.
Annual demand for aggregates in Northern Ireland is approximately
24 million tonnes and the jobs that quarrying supports are often
in rural areas where other employment opportunities can be scarce.
In fact, 75% of the total number of quarries and pits in Northern
Ireland are situated in areas designated by Government as Targeting
All quarrying is strictly controlled and has to meet high standards
of environmental performance set by government and the planning
As urban sprawl and land designation increases, it is vitally
important that Northern Ireland’s aggregate resources are
identified and protected for responsible utilisation by future
Northern Ireland is an important source of high quality aggregate
for use in road surfaces across the UK and Europe. This aggregate,
because of its hardness, provides increased skid resistance on
roads thereby increasing safety.
The quarry products industry in Northern Ireland also produces
a wide range of stone products that are essential to modern life.
Products such as kerbstones, concrete floors and beams, paving
slabs, concrete pipes of a wide range of diameters are used to
upgrade the roads, water and sewage facilities and buildings.
To find out more about quarrying in Northern Ireland, email QPANI