Each year Aotearoa New Zealand consumes the equivalent of eight tonnes of aggregate per person across roading, construction and other infrastructure projects.

Our new aggregate model

Our new model is what we call an “aggregate opportunity concept”. It includes the features necessary for a quarry to succeed, and the factors that affect its viability or development. The model identified “goldilocks zones” that highlight areas that may provide high-quality raw material and keep costs down, while also minimising factors such as noise, dust and heavy vehicles near built-up areas.

Why we need a new model

We need a national-scale model of aggregate opportunities which can be investigated before being allocated to other land use. The 2021 updated models show these areas and where follow-up studies would provide more insight into their potential.

Our economy is demanding large quantities of industrial minerals and aggregate for building, roads and agriculture. Efficient use of our aggregate resources is critical to reducing costs and transport emissions. Long-distance transport is generally uneconomic, so sources of aggregate are required near the end users.

Managing the future demand requirements and planning for aggregate supply is essential.

The carbon connection

Aggregate rock resources such as dunite and basalt can also be identified from this model. These are critical materials for new carbon capture techniques such as enhanced rock weathering, a technology that GNS Science are assisting research into.