Quarries are used to extract minerals and raw materials from the ground. Whereas mining uses shafts and tunnels dug underground to extract its products, quarrying opens up the land and removes raw materials from much nearer the surface. Although this procedure has been derided as damaging and unpleasant, quarrying does have its advantages and, if handled correctly, will create minimal disruption and actually benefit the local area.
In April, 2011, unemployment in the U.S. touched the nine per cent mark, signifying a slight rise after what had been a significant dip in unemployment since the end of the third quarter of 2010. This level of unemployment -- equivalent to just under 14 million of America's work force -- has hit small, rural communities hardest. Building a quarry requires a substantial workforce, as does running the quarry directly. It also creates countless jobs for industry related to the quarry, such as haulage firms and drivers.
Improves Local Economy
The creation of new jobs will undoubtedly affect the economy of these local communities by giving local residents more money to spend in local shops and businesses. In addition to this, the building of a quarry will attract investment to the area from people who wish to use quarried material in business plans of their own. Industries such as quarries also require roads and other access facilities to be built in order for them to carry out their business. The local community will reap the benefits of such improved transport links.
Products and Byproducts
Quarries produce stone for building work, as well as components to make cement and other in-demand substances. Screened aggregate, taken from a quarry, is used as an ingredient in the production of bitumen and tarmac, while larger chips are added to the mixture and rolled flat to create asphalt. Such products and byproducts of quarrying are vital to maintaining nationwide transport networks and providing support to businesses and individuals who rely on them.
While quarries do cause physical damage to an area, this damage can be offset. Construction that is carefully planned will do no harm to natural habitats and will offset deforestation by replanting elsewhere. Once the quarry's products have been exhausted, the use of a carefully managed landscaping program will leave the area looking picturesque and beautiful. The basin created by the quarry can be flooded, and a nature reserve created in its place, ensuring minimal disruption to the natural environment.