Monday, 3 August 2015

More inconsistencies…

Do any of Aggregate Industries' numbers stack up? Is there anything we can trust? We have established that AI has been disingenuous with the resource, overburden and need figures, but now it seems that the silt numbers don’t add up either.

Why is this important? Because lack of silt capacity at AI's disused and unrestored Rockbeare Quarry was one of the reasons the company gave to justify the continued use of Blackhill Quarry to process material from Straitgate 8.2 miles away, trucking as-dug sand and gravel through an SPA/SAC/AONB on an unsuitable B road - 1.2 million HGV miles over 5 years:
Rockbeare Quarry was not taken forward as an alternative location for processing due to lack of space especially for stockpiles and silt storage; and non-availability of process water. 38
DCC has now asked AI to quantify the silt, a waste component from processing the as-dug sand and gravel, from Straitgate, and the available capacity for it at Rockbeare, and furthermore to:
... explain in detail the reason for their change of mind about the availability of Rockbeare Quarry for processing given the content of the letter from AI to DCC dated 14 May 2014 (AI Ref: CT/7812/DMP) – “Location for Processing” which states clearly that Beggars Roost has capacity for the silt produced and that Areas D and K would be used for stockpiling and Pond J for water.
And whilst AI ponders on what numbers to give this time, let’s not forget what the company said in 2003, when there was apparently "an inextricable link between Straitgate Farm and the Rockbeare Minerals Working Area":
The processing of at least 20% of the Straitgate Farm mineral reserve at Rockbeare is necessary in order to generate sufficient silt to complete the approved restoration scheme at Rockbeare and Beggars Roost. The current remaining silt capacity within the Rockbeare complex is about 210,000 cubic metres and at Beggars Roost 180,000 cubic metres giving a total of 390,000 cubic metres of silt space.
In 2003, the Straitgate Farm resource was still considered to be 8.1 million tonnes, but now that AI’s application is for just 20% of that figure, silt capacity at Rockbeare should obviously be adequate. But let's look at the numbers another way:

AI gives the silt fraction as 15% (3.16) or 17-20% (3.9), but assuming 20% and, for the sake of argument, AI’s exaggerated saleable combined resource figure of 1.66 million tonnes, then there’s an implied gross resource of 2.075 million tonnes, and a silt/waste component of 415,000 tonnes which, at 1.33 tonnes/m3, equates to 312,000m3. In reality, with 1m of resource maintained above the maximum water table, there would be around 263,000 tonnes of silt/waste, or less than 200,000m3.

Clearly, both of these figures are within the capacity the company said was available in 2003; the letter DCC references implies that it was still the case in 2014.

Wherever you look, AI’s applications are riddled with inconsistencies. Local people will no doubt make up their own minds as to whether these were down to lack of care by AI or its consultants SLR, or were just wilful acts aimed to deceive.