OUR PROCESS

We’ve developed a reliable mining process that allows us to gather resources without leaving a negative impact on the environments where we work.

SCHEDULE AN EXPLORATION

EXPLORATION

You can’t provide quality aggregate if you can’t find it. That’s why we constantly search for construction aggregate, primarily found in sand and gravel deposits in the greater Memphis areas. Our aggregate is held to high standards, so we only look for the best possible sources.

Once we find an ideal area, we use a low impact all terrain vehicle to explore for deposits. This equipment, along with our careful technique, ensure minimal impact to the property where we’re drilling. We then inspect the material to ensure it meets our standards and evaluate how much material we can mine from the site.

Property owners do not pay Memphis Stone & Gravel Co. for the exploration process and are not obligated to allow us to mine. When we find quality material, we work to ensure a mutually beneficial agreement with property owners before moving to the next phase of our process.

PLANNING

Once a property owner agrees to let us mine their property, we immediately seek the proper permits from the local, state, and federal government. We then meticulously plan each part of the process:

  • Safety – How we will ensure that workers, property owners, and neighbors are not put at risk during the process.
  • Efficiency – How we will mitigate costs, for the benefit of ourselves and property owners, during the mining process.
  • Environmental management – How will we leave the property when we finish mining.

Memphis Stone & Gravel Co. ensures that each project meets the regulations of several agencies:

  • Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Mine Safety and Health Administration
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Local Municipalities

MINING

The first step in our mining process is to strip overburden (which is the rock and soil overlying a resource) away from the resource. We use multiple types of equipment to do this, such as scrapers, excavators, and haul trucks, depending on the digging conditions.

Next, we mine the resource with hydraulic excavators. During this part of the process, we lay off small pits, approximately 3-5 acres, and move in a checkerboard pattern. This allows us to move overburden directly into a previously mined pit. We remove fertile topsoil from this overburden during stripping and store it for reclamation.

Then, we feed raw material on conveyor systems using wheel loaders. The materials we mine are unconsolidated, meaning we don’t use explosives to break it up. Because the materials we choose are naturally moist, we do not generate excessive dust when mining and transporting materials. Our conveyor system allows us to reduce truck traffic, easily moving resources back to our plant.

PROCESSING

Some mined material, such as clay gravel, can be sent directly from the mine to the job. Most of our materials, such as washed sand and gravel, must be processed before use. We use water to separate sand from rock and wash out fine particles such as clay. The sand and rocks are then placed in piles to drain the water, which is saved to re-use later. The washed material is then used to make products such as ready-mix concrete, asphalt concrete, landscape materials, and drainage rock.

RECLAMATION

Our final step is also one of the most important. State law requires us to replace all soil removed to get the resource — but we find that it’s a good practice regardless. Reclaimed land often improves in value, creating beautiful lakes and maintaining fertile topsoil.

We backfill excavated areas with overburden and tailings from mined material. Our immediate goal is site stabilization through revegetation using a variety of grasses. Our goal is that property owners can still enjoy their land when we’re finished with the mining process.

SEE WHAT WE DO WITH RECLAIMED SITES