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The Historical Context of Blue Rock Quarry
March 23, 2016
The site of the proposed Blue Rock Village came under attention during the 1950’s when the site was utilized for the mining of rock for the local construction industry. Due to the lack of natural resources in the metropolitan area of Cape Town ( with the exeption of Silica sand deposits at Philippi and the Kaolin deposits in the Fish Hoek/Kommejie area) the materials used for construction at that time usually had to be mined locally to save on transport costs. The minerals mined at the Cape Blue Rock Quarry ( as it was known at the time) included rock, Hornfels – Malmesbury Shale, and the production of crushed stone aggregate for the use in the construction industry.
In January 1974 permission was granted to extend the existing quarry on the Farm Naauwland through the purchase by Savage and Lovemore. In 1976 they enlarged the quarry yet again by acquiring a portion of Farm Firlands that bordered Blue Rock and Naauwland. Offices, workshops and other related building were erected on the Farm Naauwland. In 1980 the entire quarry with its management and operations resorted under the company of Darling & Hodgson, a named company of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Later the quarry operations had to be seized due to the encroaching urban fabric of the nearby coastal towns of Somerset West, Strand and Gordons Bay. The blasting, necessary for the mining of rock, became a danger to residents , and thus the quarry fell into disuse. In 1991 the Cape Blue Rock Quarry site was transferred to the Ready-Mix Materials Company (also part of Darling & Hodgson). From this point on the quarry became inactive, and the number of buildings and structures became vacant and eventually derelict.
During the 1990’s an effort was made to rehabilitate the Cape Blue Rock Quarry through a rehabilitation programme. This was done by removing the polluted topsoil and overburden soil leftover from the mining processes. About a decade later the quarry had slowly been filling with rain water and the plants on the excavated sides of the quarry regrown.
This is how the current owner found the Blue Rock Quarry in 2002. It was decided to utilize the quarry lake by building and installing water-ski facilities and a restaurant, opening it up to the general public and making people aware of the Blue Rock Quarry. After some further rehabilitation in the form of removing non-indigenous plants and trees, and increasing the water level depth to 62.5m, to create a natural overflow, the lake is today one of the cleanest and clearest in the Cape. The Blue Rock Lake Resort has now been operationg for more than 10 years, and utilizing the natural features (the views over the mountains and the lake) it is the aim of the Blue Rock Village development to share its unique history and location with the people.
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