The Beachvilime Era: 1970s-1990s
In 1973, North American Cyanamid was purchased by DOFASCO (Dominion Foundry and Steel Company), marking the start of the Beachvilime company. At this time, DOFASCO was the largest steel company in Canada and was interested in securing a supply of top-grade, high-calcium limestone. The company purchased the former Gypsum Lime/Domtar quarry almost ten years later and tagged its sites the “West Plant” and “East Plant.” Combined, this represents over 640 hectares of land, 240 employees and 35 million dollars in annual sales. In 1989, even after roughly 140 years of mining on the west side of Beachville, the Beachvilime quarry still sat on “more than a 200-year supply” of limestone.
During the Beachvilime era, 12-yard loaders moved stone from a blast pile to 65-ton trucks waiting in the pit. Like the earlier Euclid trucks, these trucks brought their loads to the crushers and onto the screening stations. Sized limestone was fed into rotary kilns that measured 350 feet long by 9 feet and 6 inches in diameter and could reach 1148 degrees Celsius.
Nothing quite revolutionized the limestone industry like the introduction of the computer. Operations in Beachville computerized by the mid-1980s. Main control panels were established in Vancouver.
Today, all Beachville quarries are owned by Carmeuse, a global manufacturer of lime and limestone products. Many remnants of the old buildings and equipment remain while advancements are made.
In today’s pits, blasting is undertaken with more precision and care. Explosions are still set off in the pit approximately once a week, shaking the ground around the quarry and alerting Beachville’s residents that it’s still business as usual at their neighbourhood quarry.
Watch this video with English transcript: Blasting in the 21st Century (blast noise only)