Mining operations at UMore taking shape
There’s been a lot of activity on the UMore property this summer and it’s all in preparation for the real thing. Since May, Dakota Aggregates has worked steadily to prepare for gravel mining operations that will start next spring.
While the hope had been to start mining this year, a weather-charged spring dashed those hopes. Still, Dakota Aggregates vice president Shawn Dahl said there was a lot to get done on the site and much has been accomplished.
Dakota Aggregates entered into an agreement with the University of Minnesota in June of 2011 to conduct phased mining of 1,700 acres of land over a 40-year period. More than 170 million tons of sand and gravel lie beneath the university’s UMore Park property.
Dakota Aggregates is a partnership of Ames Construction and Cemstone, a concrete producer. The agreement will generate income for the university based on the sale of sand and gravel from the site.
Preparations included getting utilities to the site, digging a test well, grading the property, adding an access road, building up berms and constructing the processing plant.
“It’s really been a prep year,” said Dahl.
From County Road 46, it doesn’t look like there is much going on. Get on site, though, and the progress that’s been made is obvious. Dahl said truck traffic will be the most notable change for residents.
“It’s our goal to be pretty invisible,” said Dahl of the mining operation.
Dahl said full mining operations should begin in April 2014.