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Homepage > Activities > Aggregates > How aggregates are produced

The production of aggregates

Aggregates are indispensable raw materials used in the manufacturing of concrete and building materials. This page explains how they are produced.

Step 1: Extraction

Extraction with floating dredger (Ambronay, France)

The extraction of alluvial materials can be carried out with the help of a loader or excavator, if the area is dry, thanks to multibucket excavators. If the area contains water, a dredge connected to floating conveyors.

From a bench or massive rocks, extraction requires the use of explosives. Blasting breaks down the materials, which are then brought to a handling facility.

Step 2: Transfer

Transport of aggregates on a conveyer belt

Transferring aggregates to handling facilities is generally carried out by means of belt conveyors. This reduces the cost of transportation. 

Unloading a barge

When belt conveyors are not feasible, the transfers are carried out by haul trucks or barges if waterway is available.


Step 3: Handling


Aggregates are reduced in size by crushing. Then they're sorted using wire mesh screens.

Afterwards the aggregates are often washed, as some uses require the material to be perfectly clean.

Step 4: Storage

The materials are stored in piles, in bins or silos, where they are sorted according to different categories: There are sands, gravel and rocks of various sizes. Each category of aggregate meets specific criteria based on its intended uses.

Step 5: Loading and weighing

All materials that leave the quarry are weighed with truck scales.

Step 6: Transport

Barge loading with overhead conveyor (Jassans, France)

Delivery is performed by trucks, barges and trains.

If concrete or asphalt is produced at the quarry site, the materials can be processed on place.

more on www.granulats-vicat.fr/

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Granulats Vicat
4 rue Aristide Bergès
Les Trois Vallons
38081 L'Isle d'Abeau Cedex
Tél +33 (0)4 74 27 59 34
Fax +33 (0)4 74 27 59 90


Mine blasting


Haul truck (large truck)


Screening of aggregates