Flawed Evidence Base

“Lies, damned lies and statistics”

Attrib. Mark Twain

Jersey’s Minerals strategy is meant to be evidence based. Key evidence has been accepted by the Independent Inspectors as factually incorrect, so how can States’ Members and the public have faith that an extension to La Gigoulande quarry is in Jersey’s best interests?


Evidence was only accepted from those who financially benefit

As stated in Senator Kristina Moore’s amendment: The issue is put quite simply by a lawyer with 25 years planning experience. Claire Smith, Legal Counsel for KE Planning, has stated “We do think the ARUP report is flawed and irretrievably biased because they only had access to data provided by those financially interested in the outcome of the report. Effectively the report reads as though ARUP were given the answer to the question that they were being asked and then produced a report justifying that conclusion.”.


No documentary evidence supplied to the public

The evidence provided by the quarries to Arup and the Independent Inspectors was not supported by audited documentation. Large errors were uncovered from publicly available regulatory documents which should have been fact checked before the Draft Bridging Island Plan (DBIP) was produced. 


Jersey’s aggregates landbank has been substantially understated and used as an excuse to extend La Gigoulande quarry. Jersey has over 30 years of aggregates

Of all the errors in the DBIP this is the most troubling. It is difficult to comprehend how an error of this magnitude, relating to and acknowledged by Ronez, was included in the DBIP. It also reinforces the need for an independent geological survey of La Gigoulande quarry.

The DBIP stated that in 2020 the Island had only 17 years of reserves when in fact Jersey had 35 years. Ronez’s St John quarry has a further 18 years of reserves that were omitted from the DBIP.


An extension is not required to build the new hospital and the 4300 homes identified in the DBIP

The new hospital is expected to be completed in 2026, and the 4300 homes identified in the DBIP will be completed within 5 years. This is well before La Gigoulande’s reserves will be exhausted.


Jersey will only need one quarry when La Gigoulande is exhausted (see Note 1)

The Independent Inspectors have used an inconsistent assumption of 150k tonnes for Ronez’s maximum annual output capacity to determine that an extension to La Gigoulande quarry is required.

Ronez has stated in the current Island Plan, the Arup report and their 2021 planning application(P2016/0174) that it can produce over 200 k tonnes per year of aggregates (up to 230k). Arup uses 259k in scenario B1.3. Ronez described the Arup report as accurate.

As Ports of Jersey are able to provide importation facilities for 100k tonnes per year, Ronez together with a small amount of imports can meet the forecasted demand of up to 260k tonnes per year when La Gigoulande’s reserves are exhausted.

However, with lower population growth and more recycling Ronez can meet Jersey’s building needs without importation.

Ronez has operated successfully as the sole quarry operator in Guernsey.


Recycling of aggregates is already underestimated

Secondary recycling of aggregates was underestimated in the current Island Plan and has already surpassed the levels assumed in the DBIP. The La Collette washing facility is already producing more secondary aggregates than forecast in the DBIP.


Population assumptions have inflated the demand forecasts for aggregates

The DBIP forecasts are based on population increases of between 16,000 and 30,000. Jersey does not have a population policy.

Confusingly the government and new political parties say they want to lower population growth. The forecast for aggregates demand is overstated.


Import price analysis is unreliable (see Note 2)

The Arup report notes that the cost data in the DBIP was provided by Ronez: “Ronez estimate drawing on market knowledge” and for transport costs: “larger volume, longer-term contracts might yield lower shipping costs. Alternatively, supply routes from France may also yield lower costs.”

Using Arup’s shipping tariffs, independent analysis shows that the price of imported aggregates to be the same as on island aggregates. With bulk discount and economies of scale imported aggregates would be cheaper. This assessment tallies with Deputy Chief Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham’s opinion as stated in Senator Moore’s amendment: “it certainly won’t be more expensive to do that [import aggregate] it could be a little less.”

Imported aggregates costs also include a UK climate charge, currently £2 per tonne, to offset carbon emissions from quarrying.


The economic and environmental consequences of safeguarding are not included in the DBIP

As strategic matters these should be considered and included in the BIP. The economic impact of losing the Greenhills Hotel and the environmental damage to public health and the local ecology have not been considered. To comply with best practice for public safety, buffer zones for quarrying should be included in the BIP.


Note 1 – Evidence of Ronez’s output capacity being greater than 200k tonne/year

  • Jersey Minerals Strategy 2000 (page 39)

The supply structure for the preferred option was as follows : 

Producer Tonnes per Annum • Ronez 185 – 230,000″


  • 2011 Island Plan (page 388)

“Both rock aggregate quarries could, for example, produce in excess of 200,000 tonnes per year if necessary.”


  • Arup (Minerals Waste and Water) 2020 (page17)

“This is somewhat lower than in the preceding five-year period and also well below the quarry’s peak output which has exceeded 200,000 tonnes on a number of occasions.”


Note 2 – Evidence of prices


  • Granite Products price list in May 2019 shows aggregates quarry gate prices (ex. GST) to be from £28.88 to £48.80, average £38.80. Delivery is £7.50/t. On-island price is £46.30
  • UK quarry gate prices (ex. VAT) for aggregates are between £10.90 and £15.80, average £13.35. Arup assume total transport and shipping tariffs of £33. Imported price is £46.35