Butte Sand and Gravel is owned and operated by the Morehead family and is located in the foothills of the Sutter Buttes. Over time Butte Sand has evolved into two companies (Butte Sand and Gravel and Butte Sand Trucking Co.). While Butte Sand and Gravel continues to mine and produce sand and gravel for the Northern California construction market, Butte Sand Trucking Co. has become the premier aggregate trucking company serving Northern California and Northern Nevada. The company has a fleet approaching sixty trucks which include transfers, double bottoms, end dumps and 10 wheelers. Butte Sand Trucking Co. is growing every year and has become an important part of the company’s commitment to the construction market in the region.
Butte Sand is also an integral part of its local community which is passionate about the Sutter Buttes, one of the most important landmarks of the area. Due to this, Butte Sand is careful to make sure their process of mining in the Sutter Buttes meets or exceeds all the requirements of California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA). Butte Sand has committed to making their mining process go full circle by reclaiming the mined area and returning the site to its original grazing land. This is done by filling and sculpting the land to create hills and valleys while planting native plant species to re-vegetate the land.
The process for mining the Buttes goes full circle or full recycle by putting back the mined area to the way and look they found it., by filling it in and sculpturing it with all the original hills and valleys.
Mining • Refilling • Recycling • Resculpturing • Reclaiming
Mining the sand and gravel from the Buttes starts with the removal of the volcanic ash layer. This layer because its volcanic ash, can’t be used for anything, however, it is moved aside and reused in the resculpturing of the mined area. Massive dirt movers dig and move the good part of the land as the loaders load the product into the large crushers, where as it is reduced in size to approximately (4 inches?) it then travels through long conveyer belts to the sorting machine that also reduces the size of the material, sorts the sand from the gravel and is washed as well. From this point the gravel is loaded on trucks depending on the type of fill that is needed for the job.
The sand that is created from the crushing of the rock is not in high demand like the rock product and is therefore stockpiled. It is used for fill, plaster and mason sand. But because there is an over abundance of it, it is used to refill the mined areas. It is continually refilling and making it possible for the company to reclaim the land.
All the product that is mined at Butte Sand and Gravel is used or recycled. The water that is used to wash the product is captured, cleaned and used again. Even the “sludge” that is no longer useable, is pumped into a large container and pumped into the land to help start the reclamation process prior to the sand fill. Water samples are continually taken so that none of the sludge or water is seeping beyond the site or affecting the surrounding area.
Butte Sand and Gravel is committed to reclaiming the land it has used for its aggregate mining and processing operations. The company has built a reclamation plan that outlines their list of intended actions in accordance with requirements listed in the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. Butte Sand and Gravel has committed to returning the quarry site back to the vegetated open space it once was.