Time to tackle the difficult stuff


Courtesy of CDEnviro

Tarmac Limited’s 480tph lignite removal plant at its Snabe Quarry in South Ayrshire, Scotland is showing how a new approach to the processing of lignite contaminated materials can bring significant advantages.

As a result of the small island that we live on everyone working in the quarrying sector in the UK is aware of the growing requirement to tackle materials that would not have previously been considered for processing. As we approach the time when the majority of clean and easily processed material has been exhausted the attention turns to how we can effectively process these ‘difficult’ materials to allow for the production of high quality sand and aggregates.

The contamination of sand and gravel deposits with lignite and the development of processing systems to deal with this contamination is evidence that there is increasing pressure to process materials that were previously overlooked. Lignite in itself can be a very useful commodity being a soft brown fuel, the characteristics of which put it somewhere between coal and peat. In Greece over 50 per cent of electricity comes from lignite fuelled power plants. In Germany deposits of lignite are concentrated around the Cologne area and stocks are believed to be over 50 billion tonnes. These are currently being exploited and generate some 25 per cent of the electricity produced by Germany.

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