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QUARRY WHISPERS – MATARANKA LIMESTONE QUARRY

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Mataranka Quarry - St Joseph's excursion

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Mataranka Quarry - St Joseph's excursion

June 2007

Late last month we had an unusual group of visitors at the quarry, year 5/6 from St Joseph's College in Katherine. Courtesy of Maryanne L, we now have some photos and background information. As you can see from the expanded image left, Mark the quarry manager in the green hard hat, had an enthusiastic group on hand to witness the weekly shot being fired. Needless to say, everyone had a blast :-)




Click on this image for an idea of the size of the heaps in the quarry! Sometimes it's a bit hard to get a feel for the scale of this operation, but these 29 students lined up on just one corner of the scalps heap will give you some indication.

 

Mataranka Quarry - St Joseph's excursion



Mataranka Quarry - Nedrill's Rig Hard At Work



You can easily see, from the enlarged image, that it's a long way back down to the ground level of this heap... and we're not even at the top! These stockpiles near the lime kiln, with the Roper Highway in the background, are waiting to go through a secondary crushing circuit, and are then heated and turned into the familiar white powder that most people think of when someone says "lime".





This image show Nedrill's rig in all it's glory, having a quick rest from the dusty task of completing yet another drill pattern. In the foreground you can see the red plugs in the completed blast holes; and the trees in the background give you an idea just how little of the surrounding vegetation is disturbed, other than what is absolutely necessary for mining to proceed.

 

Mataranka Quarry - Loading Roadtrain



Mataranka Quarry - Drilled, Blasted, Digging and Stockpiled



This long-range image, looking more like an impressionist painting that a photo, shows the product from the primary crusher in the quarry, being loaded into a roadtrain for transport to the kiln. The kiln is located some 30km west of the quarry, at the junction of the Roper and Stuart Highways.






Look closely at the bottom centre of the expanded image, and you can just see the yellow and pink Nonel tubes left from the blasting. The area on the right is the normal surface level, and the dusty heap through the centre of the photo is the result of the last blast. Mat, the excavator, is loading out shot rock, leaving the oversize behind for Rocky to break. Top left is the stockpile near the primary crusher.




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