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Nokomis Quarry Embraces New Mining Technology

Thu March 16, 2006 - Midwest Edition
CEG



Embracing new technology and adapting to the current marketplace are two of the most important factors Nokomis Quarry’s General Manager Ron Koehler cites when he talks about his Central Illinois rock mining operation.

Nokomis Quarry opened in 1952 and mines Pennsylvanian age limestone from a 35-ft. deposit.

Koehler believes that producing many specialty products beyond CA6 and agricultural lime have allowed his company to respond and compete with many larger quarries.

One unique product he produces is stone-sand for asphalt pavement.

Following a shot that produced approximately two days worth of rock, Koehler showed off the custom-designed conveyer belt system as it transported the stones from a portable crusher in the pit to the stationary plant 6,700 ft. away.

This conveyer system, first installed in 1978, replaced five haul trucks for less than the cost of one new truck.

“The conveyer requires less maintenance than a truck and electricity is certainly cheaper than gasoline right now,” Koehler said.

Controlled by one employee from an elevated booth, the conveyor reduced labor and equipment costs for the company while improving worker safety.

Nokomis Quarry is more than an aggregate mine.

A reclaimed section where mining ceased in the 1980s is set aside as a hunting preserve.

Here, Koehler built a log cabin overlooking a pond.

Besides duck hunting and fishing, Koehler spends many weekends enjoying the view with his wife, children, and invited guests. CEG