Vicat is proud to be a true corporate citizen. One of its priorities is to reorganize and restructure its quarries, 84% of which have a re-structuring plan in place. In 2010, more than 600,000 square meters of quarry land was redeveloped, thanks to these programs. Adapted to the needs of local communities, quarries are planned and developed in multiple ways, including meadows, afforestation, bodies of water and crop zones.
Sassenage (Isère) Quarry
Sassenage was the first quarry re-developed by the Vicat Group in 1990; the redevelopment was permanent for some areas of the site and temporary for others. The quarry also served as a pilot site for testing a new technique: hydraulic seeding (also called hydro-seeding) which involves putting seeds in a substrate so they eventually sprout out of rocks. The goal is to recreate a habitat for local species living in the foothills of Vercors and to gradually form large prairies that can retain water and clusters of trees to support the region's fauna.
To integrate the cut rocks into the landscape, the Vicat Group applied an aging process so that they took on the same color as Vercors millennial outcrops.
Grave-de-Peille (Alpes-Maritimes) Quarries
The Grave-de-Peille quarry (Alpes-Maritimes)
The hydro-seeding technique used at Sassenage was also employed in the Grave-de-Peille quarry on a massive area of pure limestone facing south by southwest. The process was successful, despite difficult growth conditions.
More than 80,000 nursery-grown trees have been planted in the Grave-de-Peille quarry since 1998. The trees are given a fungus that releases nitrogen, helping them to grow. This innovative process generates lush growth on land that is often barren or dead ground.
Similarly, the innovative techniques implemented at the new Santa-Augusta quarry have reduced sound pollution and maintained the traditional landscape characteristic of Nice's hinterland. The quarry, located atop a "baou," is operated in a pit where the materials are discharged through a 175-meter-deep central well towards an underground crusher, which is located in a subterranean chamber right in the heart of the massif. They are then transported by conveyor belt.