The Calcite Quarry in Rogers City is the largest in the world. This year, the quarry is celebrating its 100th-year of continuous operation and has shipped 880,943,995 tons of stone since it opened in 2012. On Friday August 19, I was fortunate to be able to participate in a tour of the facility offered by Carmeuse, the current owners of the facility. Here are some of the photos a took during the tour - and fear not - there is a historic aid to navigation involved!
|We boarded school buses at the Great Lakes Lore museum in Rogers City for the short drive to the south end of town, through the security gates and down to the working face of the quarry.|
|It is always possible to view the quarry from the viewing station on the quarry rim which is the white structure in the photo above, however, public tours of the plant are limited to one day a year.|
|The Cat G994F loader empties a shovel full of stone into one of the waiting Cat 789B trucks|
|The tires on the 994F loader are 13 feet in diameter and cost $54,000 each. The front tires are outfitted with chains to protect them from rock cuts. The chains themselves cost $72,000 per set - this is expensive equipment!|
|These tour participants standing beside one of the tires gives a good sens of just how large a 13 foot diameter tire is!|
|The bucket has a 25 cubic yard capacity and holds approximately 33 tons of stone. It takes seven passes to fill one of the quarry's huge Cat 789B trucks.|
|The Cat 789B pulled up in front of us, shut off its engine and the driver descended from his cab so we could get a close up view of the monster vehicle.|
|The Cat 789B stands 26 feet 9 inches high and 25 feet wide. The size of this man standing at the front bumper gives a good idea of the size of these massive vehicles.|
|Here is the view down into the second crusher - watch your step! After passing down through the crusher, the stone falls onto a conveyor below the building where it is transported to the top of the Screen House.|
|Here we see one of the conveyor tubes onto which the stone is piled. Openings along the top of the tube allow the stone to fall through into the conveyor to an augur at the end which carries the material to the hoppers for loading into vessels.|
|Once loaded, the ANDERSON will head out past the breakwater into the azure waters of Lake Huron and make her way downbound for Buffalo where she is scheduled to unload. There's our aid to navigation on the end of the breakwater!|
If you would like to take a similar tour of the Calcite Quarry, be sure to keep an eye on the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum's website over the next year. Tours are offered once a year around the middle of August ever year. Here's a link the the museum's website. Just keep checking the "Events" link.