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Mining & Quarrying

Sands of Time

Operation at the Elford quarry owned by JPE Holdings, near Tamworth, are nearing completion as the site is coming to the end of its economic life and is about to be restored and turned into a holiday home leisure centre .

"We’ll be sad not to be dealing with Pirtek Burton as JPE has enjoyed a really good relationship with them over the years," says quarry manager Dave Rogers. “We have been using them as long as I've been on the site, and they have repaired practically every piece of kit we own in that time.” The Elford site has a long and productive history having been previously owned by Blue Circle and Hanson before being sold to JPE. JPE is one of the Midlands leading suppliers of primary,  secondary and in particular, recycled aggregates, clays and soils, with Elford supplying topsoil, gravel and sand. Originally a 55 hectare sand and gravel pit, the site was converted into a construction and demolition waste recycling plant when the virgin resources were exhausted. A wash plant was added allowing waste aggregate from the TV4 project to be recycled on the site, closely followed by waste material from the M6 toll motorway. "We crush and wash on site which allows JPE to produce really high quality recycled aggregates from 10- 40mm,” Rogers says.

“We then produce clean sand that is separated from soil using a cyclone washer, and we have a log washer as well that produces quality top soil. At the moment we are winding the site down. Only 2-3,000 tonnes of material a week is coming onto the site now, which will eventually cease altogether. We have seven crew on the site at present and we were hoping to process the material from the HS2 project, but that will be another eight years away. Now it is a simple matter of economics, if we produce a 6F2 product, it simply isn't viable to ship it into Birmingham due to transport costs; the site is in the wrong location. So JPE decided to move this operation to Sandhills, where the Pirtek work will come under the Pirtek Wolverhampton franchise.” Although he is assured that the Pirtek service is consistent across its national network, Rogers believes that the service at Pirtek Burton will be a tough act to follow. "I can honestly say we haven't had one problem with Pirtek Burton. That have always been totally reliable, provide an excellent service and we even get good prices on top,” he concludes. “I've even had their engineers come to our site on their days off to ensure we are working. Our MSST Steve Edwards even delayed going on holiday once to help me with a problem. Now that is dedication."

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