Bob and I absolutely agree that our tour of Hanson Granite Quarry was probably the most interesting tour we have had here in Greenville. Neither of us expected much, after all how much is there to know about a hole in the ground? Turns out there is A LOT to the quarry business. The quarry is about 10 minutes from our house. Their stone is used mainly in asphalt and concrete but they have everything from 8-10 inch chunks that are use to prevent erosion around water, 3-4 inch granite that you could use in landscaping, many different sizes and mixes of gravel and man made sand. No granite countertops.
The quarry opened around the mid 1970′s and they figure they have enough to quarry until 2090 and then the hole will turn into a lake and a park. In addition to a fascinating tour the staff treated us like VIP’s. Their were about 25 of us from the Life Long Learning group. We will never even be their customers and yet they were so generous with their time and information. They drove us around, showed us how they test rock and gave us lunch.
The photos won’t show you the scale of how huge this is. I believe the hole is something like 2000 ft long, 800 ft. wide and 400 ft. deep. Looking at the equipment with us and on site will give you some idea. During busy time they have 400 gravel trucks a day leaving the quarry.
The equipment is circled in the next photo.
These mini mountains of gravel are probably 30-40 ft high.
First they dynamite to break the stone mountain and the rocks are loaded into dump trucks and the stone starts going through various equipment to break it into the appropriate size stone. Here is the first stop where the stones come out about 8-10 inches and go up this huge conveyer to the next processing point. If the stone that is loaded in is to large there is a gigantic hammer that smashes it into smaller pieces.
They work very hard at keeping the dust down. I remember driving by a quarry somewhere in TN and literally everything was covered in dust – the mountain, the trees, the houses. It was awful. This was nothing like that at all. Much better.