Biesanz Stone Company

The Biesanz Stone Company has been in operation for over 110 years. In the mine about 65 feet of Shakopee Formation limestone is removed and used in crushed stone applications. Some of these applications include road coverings, aggregate for use in concrete or asphalt, landscape stone and agricultural lime. In the two photos below the Shakopee Formation has the start of a cave that has formed as the result of sinkholes and water dissolving the rock.

Quarry sinkhole cave

The Shakopee Formation limestone in this range is blasted, crushed, washed and then used as aggregate just as other locations use gravel. Aggregate is not very expensive on its own but is very expensive to transport. Because the transportation doubles the cost about every 5 miles it is important to find sources of aggregate near the locations where it will be used.

Quarry Quarry
After the limestone is removed the Oneota Dolomite is cut into slabs. The white machine in the above photos is a diamond tipped chain saw about twelve feet long. In the photo at right a drill (just to the left of the white saw) is drilling holes to determine the length of the blocks. In the photo below left a block with the drill holes at the ends has been removed from the quarry. The photo below right shows many of the field trip participants inspecting the saw cuts in the dolomite.
Quarry
Quarry
Quarry
In the photo at the left it is easy to see the natural break in the layers of the rock. The top part is about two feet thick and is naturally separated by a thin layer of shale from the lower layer that is about six feet thick. The layers vary in thickness by the depth of the water and other environmental changes. These changes are also responsible for the changes in the color of the rock. The blue gray rock at the right is just a few feet from the more yellow rock at the left. In this quarry they are mining four thicknesses of natural seams of Oneota Dolomite. Each one varies in color, grain characteristics, porosity and hardness.

Below the layer of dolomite is a layer of Jordan Sandstone
Quarry
 

 

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