Top Considerations for Planning a Greenfield Site

Apr. 20, 2022

Setting up a greenfield site is equivalent to starting from scratch in the aggregate industry.  


The land you’re going to be working with has not been developed before, and you will be dealing with some unknowns and possible roadblocks. You’ve done your core drilling, purchased or rented the land, gotten all the permits needed for the quarry and plant, but now you’ve got to actually start opening the site. Failure to plan carefully and set up strategically can make or break the success of your greenfield site. 


Preparing well and considering critical factors will make a big difference in achieving your production goals and maximizing the resources on hand.


With that in mind, here are the top factors to consider when planning a greenfield site.


1.   Set up your primary crusher correctly.

In a greenfield site or really any site, you want to place your primary crusher in a strategic location.


The closer the primary crusher can be to the pit area, the better. Reducing the haul distance from the pit area to the primary crusher will reduce the amount of mobile equipment needed and increase your production processes. It can also save you time and money on labor, fuel, and costs associated with mobile equipment maintenance. With today’s soaring fuel and transportation costs, every little bit helps.


Additionally, don’t make plans to install your processing plant until you are fully aware of how your mining process will begin and where most of the aggregate reserves are located in your mine.


We reccommend finding a contract crushing company to help at the beginning of the mine’s life to develop the pit area to establish the pit and make an area large enough to install the permanent primary crusher in the lower level of the newly established pit area. This would allow the primary crushed material to be conveyed out of the pit area, which would substantially reduce fuel and equipment costs over the life of the quarry. 

2.   Remember the overburden.

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth noting that you will need to remove the overburden with every greenfield site. This top layer needs to be taken care of before you can access the aggregate materials. The soil or rock here is typically unusable and will need to be safely disposed of.

Accounting for the overburden removal process can mitigate delays and increase uptime at your site.

3.   Stabilize the stockpile area.

We can’t stress this best practice enough. Level off the area you’ve chosen for stockpiling your finished product. We’re talking level like a fine kitchen table. This is important in a couple of ways. If you’re working in between hills and hollows in the site, you’ll have trouble moving and loading your materials. It’s difficult to navigate your loading trucks through a site that isn’t level.

Also, this stabilizing will allow you to get maximum use out of your stockpile area and will help minimize material and ground loss.


4.   Find easy access to water.

Water is also an incredibly important factor to consider in planning. If at all possible, find a way to quickly and efficiently supply water to your site. It is necessary for the site’s operation for several reasons.

You’ll need water for dust control and suppression. We typically recommend spraying your crushing equipment to cut down on dust build-up. Water is also key to washing your finished product. Depending on your site, you will need to rinse the material you mine and crush. You want to remove all fines that may bind to the natural aggregate. This will leave your finished product dirt, clay, and debris free.

5.   Keep market demand in mind.

Finally, it’s important to take market demand into account. This is a factor you can’t strictly control, and yet failing to design with market demand in mind can lead to costly shortages or surpluses.


It’s worthwhile to do the research to find out what your market is and what it will be. Before you spend a large sum on planning, pitting, mining, and opening a greenfield site, find out if your aggressive production goals will be met with a buying market. If you’re producing #8’s for an asphalt plant and demand drops, or demand for a different finished product increases, you have to have flexibility designed into your site set up. Otherwise, you could be left with wasted resources and money.


Be sure to check out our video!


Looking for help with planning and opening a greenfield site?

If you’re wondering whether you are prepared to open your new site, get in touch with us. Mellott is an ideal choice for greenfield planning and servicing for three key reasons:

First, we have experience in this area. Over the last several decades, we have developed the kind of solid logistics that have allowed us to deploy operations at hundreds of locations for dozens of customers.


Second, we’ve got the expertise. We’ve been around for many years, and our Mellott team supports our high standards of integrity and education. This ensures that any job we do for you is done right and with an industry-standard, expert touch.

Finally, our broad array of capabilities makes us a one-stop shop for your crushing needs. We know rocking crushing and can mobilize the exact equipment you need when you need it.

If you're interested in learning more about how we can help you get your greenfield site up and running, get in touch with us today, or at 800.634.5634.

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