29th November 2017
Here at Albion Stone we are celebrating 15 years of mining.
We were the first operator on the island to attempt to mine Portland Stone and opened our Bowers trial mine in 2002.
We expected the mining of Portland Stone to be challenging, after all no one had previously attempted it. We thoroughly researched mining with the help of the Bath Stone Group, even sending operatives to work in mines in Italy and Croatia. However, the geology of the relatively easily cut Portland Stone and the very hard flints that are often associated with the bottom of the beds, therefore the ideal cutting zone, were our biggest problem.
After nearly five years of trials, which involved a complete re-think of the operation and a change of all the initial mining machinery, we had a method that would work. We continue to re-examine every aspect of our mining operation, working closely with the entire team to continuously refine the operation. Yields constantly improve and we are committed to investing in the very latest plant and technology.
Due to the success of our working mines we made our long-term strategy of 100% mining a reality. The term ‘Keyhole surgery’ can be likened to our mining operation on the Isle of Portland. This seamless operation has little to no impact on the surface area; safely extracting the Portland Stone from 13 metres under foot while activities continue as normal above ground.
Mining has helped our score in their BES 6001 having proven our Portland Stone is a responsibly sourced material, therefore making our stone worth 3 BREEAM Credits. The stone from the mines that are produced through the factory currently have a ‘very good’ rating, however we are working to achieve an ‘excellent’ rating in our next audit.
We are preparing to open our third mine, Stonehills.