AGGREGATE & QUARRY ASSOCIATION
Aggregates, rock, sand and gravel are the most consumed bulk product in the world after water.
DID YOU KNOW?
- New Zealand uses 8-10 tonnes of aggregate every year for each adult and child. Each man, woman, and child in New Zealand consumes 1kg of aggregate every hour.
- To build an average house, you need about 250 tonnes of aggregate – for use in concrete, asphalt, mortar and building products.
- To build 1km of a two-lane highway, you need around 14,000 tonnes of construction aggregates (500 truck and trailer loads).
- Quarrying needs to be carried out close to where materials will be used. This keeps transportation costs low and helps to minimise building costs and emissions in local communities.
- The quarry industry is committed to working alongside local communities and follows stringent planning, environmental and operating conditions.
- New Zealand needs to plan ahead and protect our aggregate supplies – so we can provide affordable houses for Kiwis and continue to build and repair our infrastructure.
Aggregates are fundamental to the lives of everyday New Zealanders. Without an on-going supply of aggregates, the production of concrete and the development of buildings, roads and infrastructure would come to a standstill.
2021 AGGREGATE PRODUCTION STATISTICS
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZPAM) latest statistics, collected from 367 quarries show quarried material production of just under 30 million tonnes reported for the 2021 year. That works out at 5.8t per capita (in red below). When corrected for the response rate (not all quarries report their tonnages), total production is just under 45Mt for the year which equates to 8.7t per capita for every Kiwi (about one truckload each).
The output per quarry was steady for 2021. The output per quarry is shown in the following graph.
Looking at quarried material uses, 2021 showed most aggregates continue to be used for roading, followed by building aggregates. Roading returned to its normal trend, at around 50% of quarried material, while building aggregates saw a sharp proportional spike – reflecting the buoyant building industry.
The direct revenue earned from the 30m tonnes of aggregates produced was reported to be $502M in 2021. The economic benefit of quarrying (and mining) to our country contributed $2.2 billion to New Zealand’s economy in 2021 . 3100 people are directly employed in 955 quarries around NZ (WorkSafe 2023 data).
COUNTRY/TONNES PER PERSON
Per person, New Zealand is one of the highest aggregate consumers in the world. This section shows some international comparisons.
New Zealand – 9t/person (2021)industry estimate
Canada 11t/person (2022)
Australia – 8.0t/per person (2022)
United States – 7.0t/person (2022)
Europe 5.4t/person (2022)
South Africa 2.5t/person (2022)
The following graph shows the tonnes produced per person in Europe for the 2022 year from UEPG member countries.
LOCATION AND TRANSPORT
Quarried products are generally very low value, on average around $20/tonne. Once a load of aggregate is taken more than 30km from a quarry, the consumer is generally paying more in cartage costs than for the actual aggregate. That’s why it’s crucial that aggregates are sourced as close as possible to where they are needed.
Regional production (t/person) is shown around New Zealand in the following image. Note that Waikato and Northland have very high production per capita as about 30% of their production is carted to and used in the Auckland region.
And this graph compares New Zealand’s regional production over the last decade.
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ABOUT QUARRYING IN NEW ZEALAND
Aggregates are the most consumed bulk product in the world after water. New Zealand uses 9-10 tonnes of aggregate every year for each adult and child.
To build an average house, you need about 250 tonnes of aggregate - for use in concrete, asphalt, mortar and building products.
The quarry industry is committed to working alongside local communities and follows stringent planning, environmental and operating conditions.