Aggregates

Profile

Aggregates include crushed stone, gravel, and sand. They can also be recycled from concrete material. They are typically produced by blasting hard rock from quarries and then extracting it and crushing it. Aggregate production also involves the extraction of sand and gravel from both land and marine locations, which generally requires less crushing. In both cases, the aggregates are then screened to obtain various sizes to meet different needs. Aggregates differ in terms of their physical characteristics such as hardness, geological nature (limestone, granite, etc.), granularity (ranging from sand to riprap used in seawalls), shape, color, and granular distribution. These characteristics determine the applications for which the various types of aggregates are suited.

The work of the LafargeHolcim Research Center has made it possible to redefine its offer to products with greater added value. LafargeHolcim also markets high-quality recycled aggregates made from crushed concrete and asphalt issued from deconstruction.

Aggregates are used as raw materials for concrete, masonry, and asphalt and as base materials for roads, landfills, and buildings. As such, they are a key component of construction projects worldwide. There is a very broad range of customers for aggregates. Major customers include concrete and asphalt producers, manufacturers of prefabricated products, and construction and public works contractors of all sizes.

Because of the high weight of aggregates and cost of transporting them, aggregates markets are nearly always local.

Consolidated key figures for aggregates in 2015

 

2015

Aggregates plants

661

Sales of aggregates in million t

292.2

Net sales in million CHF

4,064

Operating EBITDA in million CHF

586

Personnel

11,227

Consolidated sales of aggregates 2015 per region

in million t

2015

Asia Pacific

34.8

Latin America

7.9

Europe

123.0

North America

115.3

Africa Middle East

11.2

Developments

Sales of aggregates in million t
Key figures – Sales of aggregates (bar chart)Key figures – Sales of aggregates (bar chart)

In 2015, aggregate volumes decreased slightly by 0.5 percent to 292.2 million tonnes as higher deliveries in the United States, Germany, China, and Romania could not fully offset lower performance in France, Brazil, Chile, and Switzerland. Other markets that increased shipments of aggregates included Bulgaria, Egypt, Croatia, Canada, Greece, or Russia. In Middle East Africa, Asia Pacific, and North America aggregate volumes were higher, while Latin America – strongly impacted by restructurings and subsequent plant closures in this segment – reported declines. Shipments in Europe were slightly lower than in 2014.