The muckshifting season finally kicked off with the award of overburden stripping at the largest new quarry to be opened in the South East of England, Mercers Quarry. Our services were recommended to J and J Franks through a third party (Gallagher Group) who Pope Plant Ltd worked closely with on the Hanson Aggregates rock buttress works at Reigate the previous year. It was elected to work on a hire basis with competitive rates given but to also supply management of the works, due to the hazardous nature of the infilling placement of overburden. The works consisted of overburden stripping to gain access to the various grade of sand mineral deposits beneath, that will last for several years ahead.

The works began in April and consisted of :

  • In total, in excess of over 100’000m3 of overburden was stripped ranging from 1-5 metres in depth across the field, following the sand deposits
  • The overburden material was hauled to a nearby Glebe lake, recently drained of water, which was once quarried for Fullers Earth many years previous.
  • The ADT’s were required to cross a public footpath to gain access to the lake for placement which required a traffic management plan and full time banksmen at the crossing point.
  • Placement commenced initially using a 21t Komatsu excavator, casting material over the sheer quarry/lake face until a safe working bench could be established for a Cat D6T to operate from.

The material placed had a high clay content value and was engineered in layers and tested to form an engineered geological barrier for future importation of inert materials to re-profile the base and restore back to a lake in the future.  

This proved challenging as continued ingress of water was present at all times around the lake/quarry perimeter as operations were below the natural water table. A full time pumping system was put in place by the client.

The works progressed very well, within budget and without any incidents or near misses reported.

This led to a second visit to Mercers Quarry later in the year for Glebe lake basal engineering works and a good working relationship between Client and Contractor which will hopefully continue for many years ahead.


J & J Franks Testimonial 2018

“Both projects were completed ahead of schedule and at an excellent quality. The Pope Plant team headed by Craig and all the machine operators were a very professional outfit. At no time did we have any operational issues and we worked very closely with them in achieving two excellently executed projects.

I would have no hesitation in recommending them to others nor in appointing them for future works with my company.”


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