Cameron's Pit - silica sand quarry

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Comments (1)

Bruce Comfort on August 11, 2011

This is a very old quarry site and its size indicates that. The Silica gravels have their origin in a fresh water lake and river system of which there is now no geological record - the source being so far back in time that New Zealand has changed its shape and profile from the inexorable grindings of the Pacific and Indo-Australian plates which we straddle.

This pic is included in the Pastoral and Cropping tag series because the gravels are comprised of nice rounded smooth stones and sands and they find extensive use for roading material and are particularly valuable for the "cow lanes" - the internal roading systems built by intensive dairy farms in the area for moving their stock around the farms between various paddocks and to and from the milking sheds. Although these lanes take up a substantial area of otherwise valuable grass-growing land, they are economic in the longer term by enabling cattle to get around without tracking mud and destroying pasture and the rounded stones are easy on the animals' hooves. There have been numerous smallish coal mines in the locality too, not great coal but it has been of value to the development of North Otago for some 100 years. No coal is currently mined, however Holcim (a Swiss cement manufacturing company) has all the consents it needs to build a million ton per year dry process cement factory here and they have coal reserves of 50 year extraction fully mapped.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 14, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Bruce Comfort
    • Camera: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. FE230/X790
    • Taken on 2008/01/21 09:56:39
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 6.30mm
    • F/Stop: f/3.100
    • ISO Speed: ISO50
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash