Looking West

Black Rock Pit

Geneva Rock is thrilled to announce the opening of the new Black Rock Pit in Tooele County to strategically extend our operations even further into northwestern Utah. Securing the location, though, has been a long time coming.

“We initially had our eye on the pit back in 2008,” said Bill Gammell, Director of Property and Environment at Clyde Companies, “However, a deal never completely materialized. Then, in 2019, we began looking into it once again. For us, the time was right for an incredible opportunity.”

The pit itself is unique in that the 580 acres of land is owned by Kennecott, who has no use for the aggregates on the property. They, in turn, lease the land to the Black Rock Sand and Gravel Company, and as part of the agreement, Geneva Rock is subleasing the land from them with an option for multiple renewals.

Right now, the nearest Geneva Rock location to the area is the Bauer pit in Tooele County. This new location will allow for faster on-time deliveries of aggregates nearby and is another resource within the valley for our customers to get quality products that they’re accustomed to receiving from Geneva Rock.

“Customers have made inquiries to Geneva Rock in the past looking for aggregates in the northwest area of the Salt Lake valley,” said Carl Clyde, Vice President of Aggregates at Geneva Rock. “There aren’t many options in that area right now. There aren’t many sources for aggregates in that area because Kennecott/Rio Tinto has huge amounts of land secured for their precious metal extraction. There is a substantial need for aggregates in the northwestern area of the Salt Lake Valley, and Geneva Rock is providing the solution.”

The predominantly limestone quarry will help address the rapid growth of Tooele County and the west side of the Salt Lake Valley. It will also allow Geneva Rock to better compete with competitors that exist in the Tooele area, effectively lowering costs and delivery distances for customers.

However, before Geneva Rock was able to secure the long-term sublease, the company had to overcome multiple obstacles.

“In order to sublease the property, we had to work through several environmental challenges that took extensive due diligence,” Bill said. “We looked at many different parameters in our measurements of soil samples. We always want to make sure that we’re meeting every environmental standard set for us.”

“We’ve spent a significant amount of time in building a solid partnership with Kennecott,” Carl said. “They are a local and international company and are very careful in how they manage their resources. They pay close attention to the environment, what they showcase to their shareholders, and how they interact with the public. It’s been a slow process, but they believe in being responsible corporate citizens just like us at Geneva Rock, and that’s what has helped this deal come together.”

Apart from environmental concerns, another challenge has been limited access near the entrance of the pit. Because the pit is just beginning, there isn’t a lot of room. So, we’ve installed a crushing plant, and that will be followed by a washing operation. With time, we’ll add ready-mix concrete and hot-mix asphalt in a phased approach to provide a full range of services for our customers in the area.

Once the aggregates are crushed and ready to be shipped out to the customer, infrastructure comes into play. We’re working in conjunction with the Utah Department of Transportation’s engineers and highway planners to ensure our access roads follow all of their requirements. To lessen the impact of traffic and to facilitate a safer entrance onto the road, Geneva Rock extended an acceleration lane to SR-201.

Crushing work is already underway, yet full-scale operations are still a few years away. Once the pit is running on all cylinders producing crushed rock, sand, gravel, other aggregates, ready-mix concrete, and hot-mix asphalt, an approximate 12-person crew will be needed to manage all of its components. The Black Rock Pit should be able to service the area with large quantities of aggregates for many, many years to come.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of Geneva Rock,” Carl said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to begin operations at the Black Rock Pit. The addition of this location will increase customer satisfaction and allow us to fulfill our mission of Building a Better Community better than ever before.”