Glenwood quarry readies to reopen; already shipping rock
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A soon-to-be revived limestone quarry north of Glenwood has already made shipments of stockpiled rock to West Slope coal mines, and is on track to resume mining and rock dust mill operations by late fall, one of the leaders of the new venture said Tuesday.
“We made some shipments to the coal mines last week, and are still moving forward on the mill installation,” said Ben Miller of CalX Minerals LLC.
“There is a pretty big lead time on that piece,” Miller said of plans to construct and equip a new mill at the long-dormant quarry site on Transfer Trail above Glenwood Springs.
The operation is expected to employ between 10 and 20 people. Miller said he was inundated with employment inquiries following an announcement in early June that the former Mid-Continent limestone quarry, inactive since the early 1990s, would reopen.
“We have been lining up contracts for our trucking needs,” he said. “We plan to use a number of local contractors, and give everyone a chance to show themselves.”
Miller said he has accepted several resumes for employment at the quarry itself, which he will keep on file until they are ready to hire. Applications for employment can be made at the company’s new website, http://www.calxminerals.com.
Recent layoffs at the West Elk Mine in Somerset, one of the mines the Glenwood rock quarry is expected to supply rock dust to, should not affect the quarry’s plans, Miller said.
“They still need the product for life-safety reasons, so the demand is fairly stable,” he said.
CalX notified the U.S. Bureau of Land Management this spring that it intends to resume mining at the quarry. Because the operations will be confined to the original permit area, no new permits or authorizations are required, according to the BLM.
Rock dust is used in underground coal mines to help reduce coal dust and prevent potentially deadly explosions. Limestone quarried in Glenwood Springs will be processed on site and sent directly to the mines.
Upon making the announcement, Miller cited readily available labor due to the economic downturn among the factors prompting the new start-up venture.
Miller and his partners were also recently displaced after cutbacks in the oil and gas industry.
“There was a whole group of us, and we were just looking for something to keep ourselves going when this opportunity came along,” said Miller, a Colorado School of Mines graduate along with one of his partners.
He said the quarry will employ a combination of long-term contractors and direct mill workers.
“Right now we’re just utilizing contract services, and won’t do any direct hiring until the construction and start-up of the mill,” he said.
CalX has also done some road maintenance and repairs on Transfer Trail, adding fresh road base, grading and making ditch repairs.
“We also repaired and put fresh siding on the old scale house, which was covered with graffiti,” he said.
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