Martin Marietta Materials of North Carolina plans to develop a granite-rich area north of Clover near US 321 and SC 557 into a quarry.
The company has a mine in southern Rock Hill on Hawkfield Road and another in Kings Mountain, just across the North Carolina line.
The Clover site faces several administrative hurdles with county and state officials. The company also faces opposition from nearby residents, who cite environmental concerns such as private well contamination, noise pollution, and other property issues.
In June the company will ask county council to rezone one area of the proposed site. The county’s Zoning Board of Appeals also will be asked for a special exception to allow for the mine, and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control must issue a permit.
South Carolina has more than 560 active mines that involve a variety of operations, including open pit mining, which would most likely be used at the Clover granite quarry, according to Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Paxton Badham, vice president of environmental services and natural resources for Martin Marietta, said it’s “no secret” the company is looking to rezone 43 acres on Ridge Road from residential to agricultural use to allow for the quarry. The parcel is one of at least five the company has acquired in the area.
“This is a great opportunity,” said Badham, pointing to the area’s “unique” granite outcropping, essentially an exposed slab of rock that wouldn’t require much digging. “It certainly does lend itself to quarrying.”
Badham said the site’s large size will make noise pollution a “non-issue” and that the company will offer written guarantees to residents ensuring their wells will be fixed if any contamination occurs. He said granite’s dense nature greatly reduces the potential for contamination.
“We may look to add more later on,” Badham added, noting that the site itself wouldn’t open for several years.
In addition to an agricultural rezoning, a special exception is needed because quarries are not one of the uses allowed under the county’s agricultural designation. The granite extracted from the site would be used on construction projects such as roadways, Badham said.