The key to success as a ground calcium carbonate supplier is to locate and develop high quality deposits that consistently offer customers products that are among the purest and highest brightness in North America. We continue to explore and search for new deposits to assure our customers the reliable supply of raw materials for generations to come.
The Wauconda, Washington, Quarry is located about halfway between the towns of Tonasket and Republic in Northeastern Washington. The area is known as the Okanogan Highlands and is prized for its excellent fishing and hunting. Northeast Washington also has a rich history of mining, logging, and ranching.
Safety and quality control are the two main priorities at the Wauconda Quarry. The quarry has five active benches so that stone blending can be performed in order to achieve consistent brightness and CaCO3 content.
Blast hole drill fines are carefully evaluated so that the quality of the stock pile can be controlled. Excavators will occasionally be used to remove unwanted materials after the blast. The stone is then transported in 30 ton articulated trucks to the crusher. Shots are never larger than 6,000 tons for enhanced quality control. Double screening is used to assure removal of small impurities like clay.
A telescoping radial stacking conveyor assures that the raw material is consistently blended onto the stockpile. Trucks are used to transport the raw material 32 miles from the quarry to our rail loading facility in Janis, Washington.
The identification, exploration and acquisition of additional mineral reserves with quality and geographic advantages is an ongoing part of CRC’s commitment to its customers.
The stone received by truck from the Wauconda quarry is stored onto at least two stockpiles. One of these stockpiles is tarped for use in the winter months when road restrictions take effect. As much as 80,000 tons of stone can be stockpiled at the site.
Conveyor belts carry the stone from a small receiving hopper to a screening plant where the material is once more screened to improve quality and purity. It is then loaded into bottom hopper railcars, which are capable of handling up to 100 tons of material. Each car is carefully and accurately weighed to ensure maximum shipping weight and safe use of the railcars.
In an effort to expand our resources and better serve our customers, CRC purchased the Calder Marble Mine in December of 2010. Located on the Prince of Wales Island, 88 air miles west of Ketchikan, AK, Calder has a long history as a world class marble deposit.
First opened in the early 1900’s and worked continuously until the onset of WWI, barges of marble blocks sent to build several buildings in Olympia, WA and Juneau, AK. Calder marble was noted many times as an exceptionally bright white stone that was in high demand. Today, that same white stone is being used to service CRC’s customers.
Currently, Calder has a proven ore reserve that is expected to last at least 75 years. Further exploration is expected to greatly expand this resource. The ore body has been classified by many geologists as being uniquely pure and yielding a uniform, bright white stone. All blasts are designed and planned in a manner that will not contaminate ore and minimize undersized material. Best practices are used so that any rock that does not meet our high standards of quality can be removed. Rock is then shipped out via Calder’s state-of-the-art ship loader to awaiting barges bound for Portland, OR and ultimately to Woodland, WA, ready to serve a growing market that requires the highest grade white stone.
Since its inception more than 30 years ago, Columbia River Carbonates has committed the resources necessary to assure its customers a reliable source of ground calcium carbonate powder and slurry products of the highest quality. Today, the company produces nearly 350,000 tons of limestone products and has invested nearly $95 million in its operations to insure reliable long term supply to valuable customers, reach new markets, and diversify its customer base.