Three Oaks Quarry

Three Oaks Quarry

We are dedicated to implementing industry-leading practices that preserve our environment - and protect our quality of life here in Yadkin County.

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We are committed to being a good neighbor.


Providing Construction Materials. Creating Jobs. Protecting the Environment.


Our proposed operation in Yadkin county will provide a crucial construction material for roads and buildings – known as aggregates. Aggregates are critical to local and regional infrastructure, and are a key ingredient in most new building construction; from churches and schools to hospitals and hotels.

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Three Oaks Quarry will support high-paying local jobs and contribute to the Yadkin County tax base. Our quarry will need skilled maintenance personnel, welders, fabricators, electricians, millwrights and heavy equipment technicians - just to name a few.

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Preservation of the natural beauty and scenic landscape is of paramount importance to us. With smart planning and attention to detail, quarry operations can effectively blend into the area around it. Property Line Setbacks are established by Yadkin County to help the quarry blend into the community and provide a buffer zone between neighbors and active quarry operations. In these buffer zones, earthen berms will be constructed to further reduce any noise and light from escaping the facility. After the implementation of these buffer zones and berms, those not already aware of a quarry are often surprised to learn of its existence.

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When our operations are complete, we reclaim every acre. The property will then enjoy a “second life.” Former quarries have been used in numerous different ways including neighborhoods, fishing lakes, public parks, farms, pasture, permanent conservation and even golf courses. Our neighbors want to preserve Yadkin County’s small-town spirit—and so do we.


1Where will the quarry be located?

The quarry will be located west of US Hwy 21. This map identifies land for sale.

2How will the property be used?

The property will be used for one thing and only one thing: a rock quarry to produce construction-grade aggregate, most of which will be used in Yadkin County and the Piedmont Triad area While there has been a lot of speculation about this site, the facts is that Three Oaks Quarry and its parent company, Synergy Materials, are in the aggregates construction materials business.

3Why does it matter that this quarry is next to an Economic Development Area?

In short, it means this location is not only suitable for a quarry, it is ideal for one.

Counties and cities adopt plans for long range growth. Yadkin County adopted a “Land Use Plan” in 2011 that designated I-77 to Us Hwy 21 an ideal area for the encouragement of “significant industrial or other job-creating activities.” Here is the complete definition from the Yadkin County Land Use Plan:

Economic Development Areas – Areas designated Economic Development Areas are locations where significant industrial or other job-creating activities are located and where additional industrial/commercial activity may be encouraged. These areas are in close proximity to major thoroughfares. Water and sewer infrastructure has already been extended or can be extended to these areas in the near future if cost effective. Development considerations include the adequacy of the transportation network to support additional industrial vehicle traffic, water and sewer capacity, and minimizing impacts to adjoining uses.

The Land Use Plan includes a “Future Land Use Map” showing the county’s plans for certain areas based on geography, proximity to towns, roads, and utilities. Below is a section from the Future Land Use Map showing where the county chose to locate an Economic Development Area. Companies use local maps, like this one, to determine communities in which to invest.

4What is aggregate?

“Aggregate” is a broad term that generally refers to construction materials such as sand, gravel and crushed stone—similar to what you might find on a rural driveway or on a gravel road.

5How is the product used?

After water, concrete is the most widely used resource in the world.

Modern life—everything from roads, bridges, culverts, and dams to homes, hospitals, and commercial buildings—could not exist without concrete. And concrete would not exist without quarries like ours. The closer the quarry, the more cost-efficient the supply, which means more affordable construction and lower tax burdens on residents.

Every luxury, and necessity begins with either a fiber or a mineral (or both). Of course, fibers are grown: We find them in clothing and paper, for example. Minerals are mined: We find them in construction materials, like concrete, cement, and asphalt. But minerals can also be found in lightbulbs, electrical wiring, AC units, smartphone screens, batteries, circuit boards and even toothpaste.

6How does this quarry help make concrete?

This quarry will produce construction-grade aggregates. Aggregate is mixed with cement to form concrete or with hot “bitumen” to create asphalt. By composition, both concrete and asphalt are 95% aggregate. In other words, almost everyone reading this has aggregate in their driveway – either as crushed stone without cement and asphalt mixed in (or as part of concrete and asphalt cover).

Aggregate is also used in road construction as “base” to support vehicle weight and as asphalt cover, which all of us use when we travel. Commercial buildings (and schools and offices) with walls and floors made of concrete also require aggregate.

7How do you extract the construction-grade aggregates?

Aggregate is quarried from ground deposits, which formed over millions of years. When a quarry is started, several feet of “overburden” is removed to access the rock base. This overburden will be used to create tall and thick berms to mitigate sound.

Once the overburden is removed, the rock base is then loosened or broken into smaller pieces using modern blasting techniques, then taken to machines on-site that crush the rock it into various sizes. The crushed stone is then sent to nearby markets.

8How is the rock loosened?

The Three Oaks Quarry relies on a combination of math, physics and the latest technology to loosen rock. Here’s how it works: A team of highly trained professionals creates a series of small, but deep, holes into a rock shelf near a ledge. A liquid emulsion is then added to the holes and electronically detonated in a process controlled by sophisticated software.

The computer-controlled process creates a fast and timed sequence of “shots” which cause the rock to fracture and break free. Each shot is separated by the next for periods measured in thousandths of a second, but with the result being a 1.5 to 2 second noise duration. This highly-coordinated process causes many of the vibrations to be self-cancelling. The energy of the shots is directed toward the open area and not into the rock shelf itself, thereby reducing vibrations.

9When and how often does this process occur?

Approximately three times per month (on average), depending upon the market demand. It is never done at night, on weekends or holidays, and always during the day when many people are away at work.

10Will I hear it?

Nearby residents will probably hear something, but it will be a muffled sound rather than a sharp, sudden “crack.”

Sound is measured in “decibels.” Depending upon your distance, the sound can be perceived at the same decibel level as a neighbor’s lawnmower (or much less), but for no longer than 2 seconds.

11Will I sense any vibrations and, if so, what do they mean?

Nearby residents may sense some vibrations, but those vibrations do not harm structures such as homes, driveways, or well-casings—there is simply not enough residual energy to do so. Our method of loosening rock has been thoroughly studied by independent researchers over many years, including the U.S. Bureau of Mines. They have all reached the same conclusion: This process does not harm nearby structures.

In fact, the research conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines (now a part of National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health) found that it is physically impossible for blasts conducted at .5 inches-per-second to cause structural damage to a home or a well. Moreover, at our Three Oaks Quarry, ground vibrations at the nearest house will be lower than .2 inches-per-second—far below the threshold studied by the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

Furthermore, our industry is well-regulated. To ensure compliance with all regulations, this process is monitored by independent seismologists who will make their findings available to state regulators. Put another way, regulatory agencies set and enforce the rules, we follow them, and independent seismologists verify compliance.

12OK—trust, but verify: How do I know your operations will follow these standards?

Even if you’re not yet confident in the studies and the science, we are. That’s why we’re offering a written guarantee to any nearby owner who requests one: We will commit to investigate and repair, at our expense, any damage to your well caused by our operations. If you live nearby and wish to participate in the program, we will hire a certified and independent inspector to visit your property before we begin operations. The inspector will establish a “baseline report” with photographs and descriptions of your existing well or home (or both). Both of us would receive a copy of the report, which will allow us to identify any changes in your well if a problem were to arise later.

This is a unique and industry-leading program. Essentially, we are so confident in the science of our operations that we are prepared to “put our pledge in writing.”

13Will the quarry use groundwater?

No, our operations are self-contained and have no measurable effect on water flows. There will be a well to supply the office building on-site. Beyond that, most of the water needed by a quarry is pumped from the quarry itself, which collects rainwater in “ponds.” Water is pumped from these ponds and used to contain dust and rinse the rock.

14What is “dewatering?”

As quarries go deeper, they sometimes intersect confined aquifers, which store water. In this region, aquifers are not large underground lakes or rivers. Rather, they are typically cracks or openings in the rock which have formed over thousands or even millions of years, collecting rainwater. There are many isolated aquifers in this area. Some are interconnected. Many are not.

When a fissure in the rock is found, the water must be pumped out. This “dewatering” exercise pumps the water back into adjacent streams, which will be an approved activity by the NC Department of Environmental Quality. You might hear that dewatering causes a “cone of depression” or a “zone of influence.” At this point we are confident that no wells will be affected by cones of depression based on industry-standard studies of groundwater hydrology that include “pumping tests.” Additionally, to ensure the quarry does not affect the local ground water level, monitoring wells will be drilled around the periphery of the quarry site. These wells will strictly be used to monitor the groundwater level for any changes which might be caused by mining activities and will be reported to the NC Department of Environmental Quality.

15Will this affect my water use?

No. Our scientists and engineers understand that groundwater is essential for wells to function. That’s why we retain experienced hydrogeologists to study the hydrologic properties of the aquifer to ensure “dewatering” of the quarry pit does not adversely affect nearby water supplies. The industry standard study is a “pump test,” which allows a hydrogeologist to understand the permeability and transmissivity of the aquifer and the geographic limits of drawdown caused by ongoing pumping.

In fact, your wells are more vulnerable to your neighbors’ water use (for animals or a garden) or “wear and tear” than from this quarry.

The State of North Carolina strictly regulates water use. If our operations were to affect your water use, regulators require that we lower your well pump (if it is too shallow to accommodate a drop in water level) or to drill another deeper well at our expense.

16Is quarrying regulated?

Yes, just like most industries. In this case, quarries cannot operate without having met stringent regulations set by the N.C. Mining Commission. Permit applications are extensive, and reviews are a months-long process in which the public can access all application information from the NC Department of Environmental Quality and participate in discussions with NCDEQ if a public meeting with staff is requested and enough interest is shown.

17I’m worried about truck traffic. Will this quarry mean more truck traffic on US Highway 21 compared to a different sort of development?

No, a traffic impact analysis conducted by Kimley-Horn—one of America’s leading transportation engineering firms—determined that the Three Oaks Quarry is expected to generate just 272 daily truck trips. However, if this 320-acre property were conservatively developed into a 350-home community, we would see 3,294 trips per day—more than 10 times as much traffic.

18Can US Highway 21 handle this traffic?

Yes. According to NCDOT standards and traffic counts, US Highway 21 is designed to handle approximately 14,000 vehicles per day and is currently operating at approximately 16-21% of that maximum capacity. Based on projected market estimates, 40% of that traffic will travel north on Highway 21 towards I-77, and 60% of the exiting traffic will head south towards Highway 421.

Site visits confirm there are no issues with pavement width or bridge capacity.

19What are the benefits of the quarry?

Yes, there are three immediate benefits of this quarry:

  • First, affordable construction and a reduced tax burden for local residents: The Three Oaks Quarry will enable more affordable construction by adding a robust and secure supply of local construction-grade aggregate. That means more affordable homes and hospitals, but also more affordable schools, bridges, and roadways. Local rock means lower tax burdens, plain and simple.
  • Second, good jobs: The Three Oaks Quarry will create good-paying jobs for local residents. In addition to direct employment opportunities, the quarry will also contract with local vendors and support local small businesses.
  • Third, taxes: The quarry will pay substantially higher property taxes to Yadkin County, can be used to fund a number of different activities and causes which benefit the entire community, such schools and first responders.

Bottom Line: The Three Oaks Quarry will turn an essential local resource into an economic engine, keeping good jobs and tax dollars in Yadkin County.

20Why do we need this quarry?

Our work is essential to almost every construction project in Yadkin County, large and small. In fact, everyone benefits from our products virtually every day of their life. From the homes we live in, the roads we drive on, the offices we drive to, and the schools our kids attend: All of it relies on “aggregate,” a natural resource that Three Oaks Quarry will excavate safely and responsibly right here in North Carolina.

Aggregate is critical to building and maintaining essential infrastructure (such as roadways, railways, bridges, locks, levees and canals). At our Three Oaks Quarry in Yadkin County, aggregate comes from granite, which is found underground. These aggregates include sand, granite and gravel that, along with cement, is essential to the manufacture of concrete (80 percent of which is composed of aggregates).

While it’s hard to imagine, the average American uses 10 tons of aggregate every year. That’s 55 pounds per person, per day, with the average American home built with between 225 and 400 tons of aggregate. So, the next time you’re on a highway, consider that it requires 38,000 tons of aggregate to construct just one mile of four-lane road.



We are now accepting applications for Operators, Millwrights, Mechanics, Managers, and General Applications. Please contact us at to inquire.

Bring high-paying local jobs to Yadkin County

(336) 770-2620

353 Jonestown Rd Suite 248
Winston-Salem, NC 27104

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