Albion Stone is currently extracting dimension stone at two sites; Bowers and Jordans. We are also preparing for a new mine at our Stonehills as we speak, but this reserve will probably not come into production until 2016.
Jordans is part of Inmosthay Quarry in the centre of the Island, which also includes Fancy Beach. It has been worked since the late 1800s. We lease the southern section from The Crown Estate and purchased the northern part of the site in 2006.
The majority of the southern reserves lie under the grounds of the local cricket club and the school tennis courts. To avoid disturbing the site at surface level, we applied and received permission to extract the stone using mining rather than quarrying techniques. The reserves to the north, has been designated as a 'Site of Special Scientific Interest' (SSSI). This means the primary extraction method we use has to avoid the use of dusty, noisy, and potentially damaging blasting, in order to protect the surrounding environment.
The quarry at Bowers has been operational since the late 1700's. It has been leased by us from The Crown Estate since 1979 and in 2002 it became the site of the first Portland Stone mine.
Extraction from this site is now completely underground with the original Bowers Mine in the extreme southern end of the quarry the High Wall Extraction on the eastern boundaries and a new mine entrance in the south east corner or the quarry.
The new Bowers mine which opened in 2015 will access vast reserves under the school playing fields to the south and east of the original Bowers quarry site.
High Wall Extraction is a series of small mines that extract otherwise wasted stone that sits between the final faces of the quarry and the actual boundary of the site.
Both these quarries are owned by The Crown Estate and have been leased to us since 1982.
These quarries have been worked since the mid 1800s with the final dimension stones coming out of Independent in 2006, although some stocks of block still remain.
We have secured planning permission for a vast new reserve on the western side of the Island. The stone in this part of the Island has not previously been extracted due to the depth of the overburden. To quarry this site would involve a substantial rubble removal operation with all the associated dust, noise and visual impact nuisances.
We will mine the stone from Stonehills site, thereby avoiding virtually all disturbance and nuisance to the surrounding residential properties.
Mining also dramatically reduces the carbon footprint for the production of the stone.
The final stage of phase one of the work on our Stonehills site is now complete. We will be starting the second phase in the spring of 2016 which will involve cutting the cap stone and Whitbed seam in front of the proposed portal sights. This operation will probably take around 6-9 months so we anticipate the Stonehills mine being operational from late 2016 to early 2017. For further information please check our newshub.