Atlas’s Brynderwyn Quarry in Auckland, New Zealand has been producing aggregate for construction for 60 years. Due to capacity constraints, Golder was engaged by Atlas to support the process of obtaining relevant resource consents and permits for a new overburden site to enable continued stripping of the quarry faces. Following several strategic decisions by the client, the project extended into reconsenting existing operations and preparing new resource consent applications for a new quarry pit to provide certainty for another 50 years of aggregate supply from this significant asset.
To facilitate ongoing mineral extraction at the site, Atlas sought to first remove overburden (the non-saleable or non-processable soil, clay and weathered rock overlying the mineral deposit) and cart it through the site haul road to a new overburden placement area (OBPA) which was previously a pine plantation.
Golder first conducted a scoping exercise to review the site’s regulatory framework and determine the likelihood of obtaining permits for quarry operations. Our team reviewed existing site permits, relevant regulations, existing and proposed site operations, and visited the site. We also met with regional and district authorities to discuss their views and determine the level of information they would require to support such an application.
We prepared resource consent applications to the regional and district councils for an overburden placement area, replacement consents for existing permits and new permits to expand quarry operations into a new pit. We did, however, inform our client that obtaining permits to expand quarry operations was likely to be very difficult, in light of the challenging policy directive of the relevant planning documents.
The applications included land use consents associated with quarrying operations and stripping of significant vegetation, water take permits, and a permit to discharge stormwater. A particularly challenging aspect was the proposed removal of vegetation within the Brynderwyn Hills, which could be a potential roadblock to the ongoing quarry operations should consent not be granted. To overcome this challenge, significant ecological mitigation was developed, Atlas committed to the relocation of significant fauna along with pest management, supported by ecologists and ecological management plans.
Stormwater measures for the proposed OBPA included utilisation of ‘dirty’ water channels to convey sediment-laden runoff to a new sediment retention pond, and utilisation of clean water channels to intercept and direct runoff from disturbed catchments. In addition, temporary cut-off drains would be established, and the current haul road crossing would be regraded.
Ultimately, Atlas was granted resource consent for quarry operations, which was a significant achievement. Following our successful collaboration, Atlas engaged us to prepare a management plan for the quarry site operations and to oversee the development of ecological management plans and implementation, including relocation of native fauna, pest management controls, and site rehabilitation. With our environmental solutions and strategic consenting advice, the quarry site is set to achieve ongoing viability for the next 50 years, whilst also providing beneficial environmental outcomes.