Rock materials for construction
Construction requires building materials. In Sweden, we use about 100 million tonnes of aggregates every year for roads, railways and concrete.
SGU compiles annual statistics on the quantity of aggregates supplied from Sweden's licensed quarries. How much aggregate is needed in a year depends primarily on how much the construction sector is building. In the last few years, more than 100 million tonnes of aggregate materials were supplied from quarries.
Sustainable supply of materials
Historically, natural sands and gravels, mainly from glaciofluvial deposits, have been used as aggregates for concrete. The glaciofluvial deposits are also our most important groundwater reservoirs. Through bodies including SGU, society is now trying to redirect its use towards alternative materials such as crushed rock. The preservation of our natural gravel deposits is a more explicit target under the environmental quality objective Good-Quality Groundwater, for which SGU is responsible. The availability of rock that is possible to crush into aggregates is virtually infinite. However, this availability is subject to quality and environmental requirements.
By-products from, e.g. construction and engineering works, known as recycled aggregates, can also be used as aggregate materials.
SGU's bedrock quality information can be used to evaluate the best applications for various rock types. The bedrock quality map also provides point data on the bedrock's natural gamma radiation in the form of radium content (radium index) and activity index.
Natural stone for construction
Natural stone, often of Swedish origin, has applications including building façades, stairs, kerbs and floors. To find the right kind of materials, there is a need for information on where suitable rocks are found.
SGU supports in the permit process
Prospecting for natural gravel and rock suitable for crushing requires the landowner's permission. Applications for permits to mine (extract) natural gravel and rock suitable for crushing (production permits) are received by the County Administrative Board. This is regulated in the Swedish Environmental Code.
SGU demarcates national interests for particularly valuable occurrences of substances and minerals. Both valuable aggregate materials and natural stone may be designated national interests.
Last reviewed 2022-03-11