Monday, September 14, 2015

The Tatlock Quarry

At the last minute, we learned that OMYA was conducting tours at their Tatlock Quarry on Saturday.

This is a fascinating calcium carbonate (ie marble) mine that used to be visible from the Tatlock Road. At some point, OMYA needed to have the road moved so that they could expand their operations. Although there is still a publicly accessible view, it is often blocked from visitors due to road conditions.

Anyway, the short story is that we had been thwarted from seeing the quarry a number of times since the move, so we latched onto this opportunity eagerly, despite the dreary and rainy weather.

OMYA had rented several buses to take us down into the pit, each with a guide armed with good information.

This is our guide as well as the bus driver. You can see some of our view through the window.


It looked very deep and like a dangerous ride down from up top. In fact, it is 120 metres deep, 1 kilometre long, and .5 kilometer wide (all round and approximate figures).


For a sense of scale, you can see another tour bus on the other side.


It is the white marble or calcium carbonate that OMYA wants from the quarry, and you can see some of the good stuff in the next photo.


Actually, the ride down wasn't scary on the wide benches that seemed like normal roads. The incline wasn't all that steep. Once at the bottom, it sure didn't feel as deep as it looked from up above. Here's our bus on the mine floor after we disembarked. Notice the whiteness of the floor.


Following are two panos that I took. The first consists of 4 horizontal shots and the second 7 vertical shots. The second, in particular, was a huge file.



I took the next photo because it clearly shows a vein of black rock running through the whiter marble. It came from subsequent volcanic intrusions. I believe the guide called it diabase.


Back up top, we saw the crushing operation from a distance and some of the results in this next photo, which also shows some of the equipment. The calcium carbonate is used in all sorts of products as a thickener and/or whitener: such as paints, plastics, crayons, carpet backing, floor tiles, and paper and packaging.


Up top, we were provided with drinks and snacks, but I didn't take pictures until I came across this cute thing in the parking lot.


Thanks for doing this OMYA. It was a real treat.

12 comments:

ADRIAN said...

Yes it was a good look round. I enjoy quarries and mines.

Shammickite said...

I would have definitely gone on this trip, absolutely fascinating and I love going to out of the way unusual places. And the Smart car is very cute.

Linda Kay said...

A perfect chance to get to something very unusual indeed, John. Amazing how that can all be crushed and used in finer products. And I love the little car with the plaid hood!

Tabor said...

Unusual that they opened this to the public. Usually the lawyers tell them to avoid that!

Bernie said...

I really enjoyed this tour and loved the smart car. Thank you for sharing.

EG CameraGirl said...

It was a real treat that you let us come along, AC! I LOVE this sort of tour!

Donna said...

How neat!
Glad you enjoyed it...love that car...
hughugs

Mage said...

That was a simply wonderful adventure. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

Gail Dixon said...

I've never seen a quarry before! Cool beans. That smart car with the plaid hood is so cute!! I'd love to ramble around town in that.

TexWisGirl said...

rather other-worldy looking place.

Vicki Lane said...

Fascinating place! I loved seeing it.

Mary Gilmour said...

Several of my neighbours went on the tour that day and did not have photos. I have been directing them to your blog and have heard back from one of them who was most impressed at how well you captured how it looked and felt.
Well done.