The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.
© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.
The main industry in Prospect since the early days of colonisation has been the quarrying of blue metal. Local roads were paved with broken grey dolerite from Prospect Hill as early as the 1820s. In 1903 The Emu and Prospect Road Gravel and Metal Company was formed and the company bought Prospect Hill. The New South Wales Blue Metal Company bought the Prospect quarry in 1919 and after incorporation of a new company in 1921, the name changed to New South Wales Associated Blue Metal Quarries Limited. Due to the effects of the Great Depression, in 1935 the New South Wales Government sold many of their quarrying operations to a joint venture company called Quarries Pty Limited. A marketing company called Blue Metal & Gravel Limited (BMG) was formed to sell the aggregate that came from Quarries Pty Limited properties. By the end of World War II, BMG had closed down all the quarries except for two that had the best class of basalt, Prospect quarry being one of the two. The Prospect quarry is formed by an intrusion of dolerite rock into Ashfield Shale. At least seven different rock types occur in the intrusion. BMG began to diversify their operations in 1951, which resulted in a hot mix bitumen plant called Bituminous Pavements being established at Prospect. By 1978 the company that ran this operation was called Blue Metal Industries Limited (BMI). This company claimed to own and operate Australia’s largest and one of Australia’s most modern blue metal quarries on their Prospect holding, known as the Greystanes Estate. Boral Limited acquired BMI in 1982 and used the Greystanes site to provide administrative support for many of Boral’s companies. Boral have initiated plans to close down the quarry and turn the 330ha site into half light industrial, half housing and open space, with the transition expected to be completed by 2013.
Prospect Quarry -
Prospect Quarry c 2003 from ridge of Prospect Hill, Photograph B. French
Prospect Quarry 1945 Steam navvy loading truck which took stone to crusher, thence conveyor belt to screens and bins at ground level. Photo K Townsend