Sand and Gravel A Substitute for Gold?

CIM Bulletin, 1964

I. L. Jennings - Vice-President, Standard Paving & Materials, Ltd., Taranto, Ont.

Many "hard-rock" miners look enviously at what they consider to be the easy operating problems and simple nature of the sand and gravel industry in the built-up areas of Canada. This paper points out that, in fact, the production of high-quality construction aggregates calls for a high degree of skill and technical knowledge. Nearly all of the physical processes used in conventional ore treatment processes are in common practice, and the high volumes handled call for expert material handling. Quality control of a high order is required to meet demanding specifications. The problems of operating in urban or suburban areas, under zoning restrictions, nuisance by-laws, etc., and the seasonal nature of the demand, as well as the influence of day-to-day weather conditions on it, are factors not common to most mining operators. Overriding all other considerations is the problem of marketing under very intense competitive conditions. Salesmanship of an order never imagined by most mining people is required. Price levels are such that most of the sand and gravel industry operates at very low unit profit margins, calling for a high degree of managerial ability if a profitable operation is to be achieved.
Keywords: Deposits, gold mine, gravel, Mineral, Northern Canada, Sand Sand, Gravel, Materials, mineral, minerals, Operation, Production, Sand