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13 March 2005
Henge campaigners refute job loss claims

Campaigners have hit back at claims by quarry company Tarmac over the threat of job losses if it is not allowed to expand its operations close to the Thornborough Henges (North Yorkshire, England). In a statement last week Tarmac warned the local economy would suffer if quarrying had to cease and said tourism would not compensate for the loss of some 2.3m resulting from its present operations at Nosterfield Quarry.  
     Responding to the claims this week, the Friends of Thornborough campaign group insisted that quarrying did not provide long-term jobs. Chairman John Lowry said: "Aggregates quarries actually create very few jobs in relation to the amount of land they sterilise, and the employees know those jobs are relatively short-lived because all mining ventures have a limited life. To ensure a constant supply of minerals, well-managed mining companies buy up mineral reserves in advance, phasing development so that a new quarry is opened as an existing one becomes exhausted. So jobs are not 'lost' - they are simply transferred to the new quarry and the sub-contractors follow them."
     Mr Lowry, who is a qualified exploration geologist and chartered engineer, added: "In trying to reduce this issue to a simple contest between the relative economic benefits of quarrying versus tourism, Tarmac is cynically ignoring the over-riding need to save Yorkshire's greatest archaeological treasure for future generations. Due to the concern our campaign has raised in both Parliament and the EEC, Tarmac now has to prove that it is necessary to destroy a landscape of international importance in order to supply a local market with sand and gravel that could readily be obtained from a less sensitive site like those already quarried by its competitors."

Source: Nidderdale Todat (10 March 2005)

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