Quarrying is the process of removing rock, sand, gravel, or other minerals from the ground in order to use them to produce materials for construction or other uses. So, a quarry is any such working on the surface of the earth where minerals are extracted but quarries are also known by other names around the world: ‘surface mine’, ‘pit’, ‘open pit’ or ‘opencast mine’.

The term ‘quarrying’ is often associated with a place where natural stone is extracted to produce building stone or dimension stone and the name is thought to be derived from the Latin ‘quadraria’ which described such a place.

The term ‘mining’ was similarly associated with places where minerals were extracted to produce metals or coal.

Within South Africa, the largest quantity of mineral extracted by quarrying is used for construction and known as “aggregates”.

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