The importance of Geology in Quarrying

Technical event
19 February 2024, 15:30


This talk will provide an introduction to quarry design and highlight the geological aspects of responsible extraction of construction materials and industrial minerals from quarries and open pit mines. Successful quarry design will be presented as a staged and iterative process that results in: The safe, efficient and profitable extraction of the maximum usable material from the available land whilst causing the minimum of environmental and social disturbance and resulting in beneficial final restoration and land-uses and public acceptance. Ground models, based on a sound understanding of the geology are equally vital in quarrying and open pit mining, throughout the quarry life-cycle from planning to closure, and there is a need for geological input at all stages. In addition to describing the characteristics of ground models developed for quarry projects, how they are created and why they are important, the talk will highlight some distinctive characteristics of the design and operation of quarries that impact on geological professional practice in this area. In particular: The inevitable outcome of surface mineral extraction is to make significant permanent and temporary changes to ground conditions in and around a site during a quarry’s life. In addition to understanding the ground conditions, some other issues must be thoroughly understood and taken into account in the planning and management of a quarry: the quality and quantity of recoverable material; the suitability of the recovered and processed material for its intended use; the viability of recovering and processing it; and the impacts on the natural environment and people. Ruth Allington is an engineering geologist by training. After 38 years at GWP Consultants LLP, the firm she joined in 1981 immediately after graduating (then the Geoffrey Walton Practice), she is now semi-retired and in independent practice. She is currently the President of the Geological Society, a past President of the European Federation of Geologists, and a member of the Pan European Reserves and Resources Reporting Committee (PERC). Ruth is a Fellow and was a Trustee of IQ from 2020-2023. She is passionate about promoting ‘joined up thinking’ and encouraging collaborative approaches to problem definition, problem solving and dispute resolution based on effective communication and co-operation. This is especially important in coordinating the wide range of professional disciplines involved in quarry planning, design and management, and also in facilitating effective communication between the public and operators or developers.


Ruth Allington, President, Geological Society


Virtual Event
No Physical Venue

Confirm your attendance for this event

Registrations for this event are now closed, please contact the office on 0115 972 9995 or to enquire about any cancellations or spaces on the waiting list.