19 July 2021

Dunedin quarries sweep national industry awards

Dunedin’s Blackhead Quarries has swept the annual national awards of the quarry industry. At a gala dinner in Wellington on Friday night, Blackhead Quarries and associated companies took five of the seven awards given to quarries competing from around the country.

These included the MIMICO Environment and Community Award, where judge Bernie Napp said Blackhead Quarries had won against three other impressive candidates through being the first quarry in the country to use an electric truck. The 30 tonne truck, imported from China, costs about $4 a day to run, carting 600 tonnes of aggregate at the Logan Point Quarry in Dunedin, as opposed to burning 80-90 litres of diesel.

The company’s Walton Park Sand operation then won the Winstone Aggregates Safety Award. This recognises a quarry operation which has implemented a shift change in worker participation in health and safety. Walton Park Sand manager, Jason Blair, also won the R D Hassad award given for the most outstanding contribution by an Institute of Quarrying NZ member.

Abbey Loveridge from Southland’s AB Lime, a company associated with Blackhead Quarries, took the Q+M magazine Tomorrow’s Leader award.

To cap the night, Blackhead Quarry manager Gavin Hartley took the Caernarfon Award, which recognises internationally the best paper advancing the quarry industry in technical, environmental or strategic issues. Gavin’s presentation was on his work setting up a quarry in Antarctica in 2019 to supply foundations for six new buildings at the American base at McMurdo Station. The award is competed for by national branches of the Institute of Quarrying around the world.

Blackhead Quarries General Manager Tony Hunter says he’s very proud of the team working for the company started by his great great grandfather.

“We are being recognised for our innovation, our approach to looking after our workers, leadership and for our technical excellence. I can’t think of a better legacy for our staff and our Otago community. We are being encouraged to foster the next generation and most of these awards recognise the work of our younger staff,” said Tony Hunter.

Aggregate and Quarry Association CEO Wayne Scott said the awards gave some recognition to many years of contribution to the industry by Blackhead Quarries and by Tony Hunter as a long-serving AQA Board member, as had been his father Jim.

“Dunedin has always punched above its weight as a city in all things and it can now be assured that its local quarry company carries on that tradition.”

Contact: Tony Hunter 027 436 0041, Wayne Scott wayne@aqa.org.nz or 021 944 336.

Further details of Blackhead Quarries electric truck and Antarctic quarry project available from AQA Communications Adviser Brendon Burns 0274 305501.

Photo & article courtesy of the AQA.