Quarries

Quarrying on Prospect Hill

1820s

Local roads partly paved with broken grey dolerite from surface of Prospect Hill.

 

1822

Frenchman L. Lesson, referred to Prospect Hill as being entirely composed of dolerite.

 

1832

Charles Darwin visited Prospect Hill, to observe the geology, mentioned in his book, ‘the voyage of the Beagle’.

 

1866

Historical records refer to blue stone quarry supplying most of Sydney, and Great Western Road contractors with road metal.

 

1870

Quarrying well-established.

 

1879

New South Wales Mines Department annual report, stated basalt on Prospect Hill was good-quality, unlimited quantities.

 

1880s

Quarrying on west side of hill for Prospect Reservoir.

 

1883

First commercial quarrying by Sperring and Partner

 

1903

Lewis Litton and Arch Turnbull bought them out, floated public company, the Emu and Prospect Gravel and Road Metal Company., Ltd, installed steam operated plant

 

1919

Bought by New South Wales, Blue Metal  Company., Ltd, reformed into public company, the New South Wales Associated Blue Metal Quarries Ltd.  Leased land from Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board.

 

1924

Formed the City and Suburban Blue Metal Quarries, Proprietary Ltd., which established the Windemere Quarry on the Southern side of Prospect Hill in 1926.

 

1930s

2,000,000 tonnes of stone a year, extracted from Prospect Hill.

 

1935  

Blue Metal and Gravel Proprietary Ltd, formed as a selling company.

 

1936

Bought 500 acres of freehold land, known as a Greystanes Estate from the Charley Family for 38,000 pounds.

 

1946

Styles Blue Metal Co Ltd., leased land to the west of Prospect Quarry from the Water Board, this quarry was later operated by Ready Mixed Concrete.

 

1951

BMG established a hot mix,  bitumen plant called Bituminous Pavements at Prospect.

 

1952

Blue Metal Industries Ltd, formed as a holding company.

 

1961

Gold discovered on Prospect Hill, assays found it was not in payable quantity.

 

1982

Boral Ltd, took over BMI Ltd.

 

1992

Greystanes, administrative buildings used for a large number of Boral Companies.  Prospect and Greystanes, sites hold the major quarry, 2 crushing plants and associated facilities, 2 asphalt plants, Boral Bricks, and Boral Besser Blocks plants and two laboratories.

 

2001

Boral initiate 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

 

2002

Delfin Lend Lease agreed to develop the 104ha of land planned for housing

 

Prospect Quarry - 1934

© 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         
Prospect Quarry
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 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
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