Headquartered in Hagerstown, Maryland, SGI has four production facilities strategically located nationwide: Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania; Annapolis, Missouri; Pembine, Wisconsin and Ione, California. With more than 550 employees across these locations, SGI is integral to the communities where we work.
Over the years, SGI has helped support the communities in which we operate, contributing to schools, volunteer fire departments, historic preservation, conservation, community centers, youth sports leagues, veterans groups, and more.
The Ione facility is one of only 11 facilities in all of North America that manufactures granules used in roofing materials and other applications.
Its open pit quarry mines meta-andesite rock, crushed and screened to produce granules, which are then coated with ceramic pigments and used as colored roofing granules or left uncolored and used on the unexposed section of shingles. These granules are sold to roofing manufacturers in the western United States. Rocks unable to be used for granules are utilized in the aggregates market. The fines that remain from the granules production process are being studied for their carbon sequestration potential in agriculture.
The Ione quarry was opened in 1989 as a rail ballast production facility, and the roofing granule plant was opened in 1999. SGI has been embedded in the Ione community since it began operating this facility in 2001. More than three quarters of its 75 employees live within 30 miles of the Ione facility.
SGI has high standards for its daily operations to ensure the safety of people and the environment. To help meet the goal of being a good steward of the environment, SGI makes it a priority to have effective controls in place that help protect the environment during operations. In addition to internal and third-party audits of the environmental controls systems at the site, all employees are trained regularly on environmental best practices and site-specific protocols.
The Ione facility has been recognized regularly for these efforts as a recipient of Environmental Excellence awards from the National Sand, Stone, and Gravel Association. In 2018 and 2019, the Ione facility received bronze awards from the NSSGA, and in 2020, it received the Gold Award. Only 9 NSSGA facilities are awarded the Gold Award annually.
SGI’s Ione plant in the last few years has made significant efforts to use energy sources that emit significantly lower greenhouse gases. Just one example of this effort is a 2,250kW solar array installed at the plant in 2017. In the last three years, the system has helped SGI reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,090 tons. SGI is currently constructing a second solar plant rated at 3,000 kW.
In addition to efforts at the site, 400 tons of Ione fines — a byproduct of the roofing granule production process — are being studied at University of California, Davis, to determine their ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The study is ongoing.
SGI has submitted a permit application to expand the existing Ione Quarry. Our pending application will allow for the Ione facility to maintain current operations well into the future, keeping jobs and economic investment in the community.
The Ione Quarry mines and processes meta-andesite rock that is used at the adjacent, and separately permitted processing plant, to produce roofing granules. These roofing granules are distributed to roofing manufacturers across the western United States who use the granules to produce asphalt shingles commonly found on many residential and commercial buildings. Cap rock, weathered meta-andesite that does not meet specifications for granules, is utilized in the regional aggregates market supporting infrastructure improvements such as road and bridge construction and residential and commercial development.
In addition to the products it supplies that are integral to the building materials industry, the Ione Site also provides direct employment for 75 employees. Almost eighty percent of its employees live within 30 miles of the site and make average annual wage approximately three times higher than the Amador County average. The Ione Site helps support approximately 375 indirect jobs and contributes to Amador County almost half a million dollars in property and sales taxes, annually.
Expansion of the Ione Quarry will allow SGI to continue to support its granules and aggregate business an additional 100 years into the future. This expansion will allow SGI to continue its investment in the existing facilities, its employees, and Amador County.
SGI proposes to expand the existing footprint and depth of Ione Quarry to access additional rock reserves. This expansion requires an amended Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and Reclamation Plan that allows for the expanded proposed mining area and additional stockpiling area(s) for cap rock. The quarry’s total surface disturbance will expand from approximately 56 acres to 136 acres and the depth will increase by approximately 600 feet. The stockpile area’s total surface disturbance will expand from approximately 34 acres to 86 acres and increase in elevation by approximately 34 feet. No changes in the current rates of production or other operations are proposed. The expanded reserves could provide for an estimated additional 100 years of operation at current annual production rates.
No, proposed operations, including hours of operation, mining and processing methods, equipment usage, and other operational aspects will not change. This Application only requests approval to expand the existing quarry’s limits of surface disturbance and depth and increase the size of the existing cap rock and overburden soil stockpile.
Yes, SGI retained local environmental and technical experts to design the Ione Quarry expansion and analyze potential environmental impacts. The SGI Ione Quarry Expansion Application Package (Application) submitted to Amador County included twelve technical studies that analyzed the following:
Based on the results of these technical studies, SGI developed a plan for expansion that limits impacts to on-site resources and the surrounding community.
The Application was submitted to Amador county on Feb. 5 2021. At this time, Amador County is reviewing the Application to confirm it contains the information required by the County and County Code and determine the Application complete. When the County determines the Application complete, the County will begin the environmental review process as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.
SGI is proud to support the local economies of Ione, its neighboring communities, and Amador County. As an integral part of the area’s economic foundation, SGI provides more than 70 jobs, millions in wages, and close to $500k in tax dollars.
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