Rock Products

FEB 2019

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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40 • ROCK products • February 2019 Balcones This is the second in a three-part series on Cemex's Balcones Quarry in New Braunfels, Texas. Last month's article focused on the company's 50 th anniversary. – Ed. C emex recently marked the 50th anniversary of its Bal- cones Quarry in New Braunfels, Texas. In those 50 years, the quarry has grown and prospered. The United States Geological Survey currently ranks the operation as the top crushed stone producer in the nation in terms of volume. It is said that everything is bigger in Texas, and the vast 2,800- acre quarry site is no exception. The quarry has an additional approximately 50 years of reserves, and will continue to be a key resource supporting development throughout the state of Texas for many years to come. More than 100 people work at the operation. Equipment is the Key To produce the huge volume of stone that goes out the gates, exceptional equipment and technology is a must. Balcones Quarry uses some of the best, starting with its drilling and blasting operation. Drilling and blasting is the critical first step in the production process for any quarry. While some operations are working one or two quarry faces, Balcones works 12. "We contract it out at Balcones Quarry," said Lance Griffin, Cemex USA's director of aggregates – Texas and New Mexico Region. "Buckley Powder handles that for us, and we blast three to four times per week." Over the years the quarry has had to adapt its drilling and blasting practices. "Yes, we have changed as technology has evolved, employing the latest tools and technologies to make it less intrusive to our neighbors," Griffin said. Loading and Hauling Working at those 12 quarry faces is an impressive array of heavy iron. Reliable equipment is important at this stage of the operation, given the 1.5- to 2-mile cycle between the face and the primary. The company is a dedicated Caterpillar customer. "We use three loaders – Cat 992 and Cat 993K models, as well as eight haul trucks, which are Cat 777D, F and G models," Griffin said. "Cat not only works well in production efficiency but Holt Caterpillar service is second to none. We utilize the Cat Job Site Solutions System to manage the flow of equip- ment on-site, maximizing efficiency throughout the quarry." Griffin said he cannot emphasize enough the importance of a strong dealer relationship. "Holt is a true, strategic partner of the Cemex Balcones Quarry," he said. And Caterpillar equipment is also used in other areas around the quarry. "We use a Cat D9 Dozer, 18M Motor Grader, Cat 773 water truck, and 980K, 982M, 988K, 992 and 993K load- ers," Griffin said. Balcones at 50: A Model of Success Cemex's Balcones Quarry – The Largest Crushed-Stone Plant In The United States By Volume – is a Stone-Producing Juggernaut. By Mark S. Kuhar Buckley Powder handles drilling and blasting and they blast three to four times per week.

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