Small Nova Scotia company has big plans for proposed quarry
Morien Resources Corp chief executive John Budreski says the company’s Black Point Aggregate Project could be ready for a 2019 start.
The Black Point project, if it goes ahead, would involve the development of an aggregate quarry on a 354-hectare property in Guysborough County, N.S. A deep-water marine terminal would also be built adjacent to the quarry in Chedabucto Bay. The construction and road aggregate would likely flow via bulk carriers to customers in the U.S. and perhaps Canada and the Caribbean.
Aggregate consists mainly of crushed stone, sand and gravel and is critical in the development and maintenance of roads and buildings. The project website says concrete is about 80 per cent aggregate and asphalt is 94 per cent aggregate. Considering how much concrete and asphalt is used globally, the demand for aggregate is robust. Budreski says the Black Point project only hinges on federal and provincial environmental approvals. Documents were filed on both fronts earlier this year. “It’s now in their hands and it will come back hopefully by the end of this year or early next year,” he says.
Vulcan Materials Company, the largest American producer of construction aggregates, is funding the $90-million Black Point development. Vulcan purchased the Nova Scotia-based company’s rights to Black Point in 2014. Morien received $1 million at the signing, and is expected to receive an additional $800,000 if the environmental permitting is approved. Morien will also receive a royalty for the life of the mine, which Budreski pegs at 50 years or more.
“We’ve got the history and the familiarity and they’ve got the money and the expertise,” he says of Vulcan’s involvement. “We’re feeling pretty good that we’ve taken this little company and we’ve turned it into creating a $90-million spend in a place in Nova Scotia where jobs are scarce.”
The project is expected to create 60 direct jobs. Budreski says production will range between two million and six million tonnes a year, with a peak production of 7.5 million tonnes.
“There’s 400 million tonnes there and that’s not all of the rock that could be taken,” Budreski says. “There is plenty of rock there. We see it as a 50-plus year project.”