Following a smooth, meticulously planned transition, Tunstead Quarry, the largest supplier of lime and lime-based products in the UK has taken its drill and blast performance capabilities to the next level, supported by a results-driven partnership with the team here at EPC-UK.

The Derbyshire-based flagship quarry has used EPC-UK as a direct supplier of explosives for numerous years with expectations continually exceeded. However, more recently the relationship has further developed as the knowledge and standards we harness in terms of delivering full, outsourced Rock-on-Ground solutions has advanced the affiliation.  Through the mutual trust, expertise and integrity of both parties involved, the stage was set for converting Tunstead to an outsourced Rock-on-Ground operation. The project’s goal was to ensure the demands of this highly active site were met safely and efficiently, whilst simultaneously driving blasting optimisation. 

With EPC-UK’s support, and state-of-the-art investment in the latest drilling, blasting and digitalized technologies, Tunstead Quarry has now become a full, Rock-on-Ground site. The successful transition has been made possible due to a series of well-executed preparatory measures taken by both EPC-UK and the Tunstead management team to ensure an uninterrupted service. From the collaboration’s effective communications to its joint performance in achieving telematic data capture operations in advance of new drill rig arrivals; the partnership has created a strategy capable of not only maintaining operations and KPIs safely, but also realising improvements in terms of cost efficiencies and overall blast performance.

As part of the progression, and demonstrating the gravity of the successful relationship, we have also moved key members of the Tunstead quarrying team under our own management, blended with existing EPC-UK employees in a considered and professional manner, further illustrating the elements of integrity, respect and teamwork that form part of our core SPIRIT values.

The values, which demonstrate Safety, Passion, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Teamwork, have repeatedly been reflected throughout the transition, which has constantly ensured that the technologies and innovations brought to Tunstead have been delivered with full transparency and exceptional safety commitment.

Both companies’ operational teams have been at the transition’s helm. Ensuring a smooth, safe and effective change operation from the EPC-UK side has been Ben Coppock, General Manager Blasting & Explosives, and Dave Bridge, National Operations Manager; whilst from Tarmac Tunstead, Jason South, Stone Plant Manager and Phil Shimwell, Quarry Operations Manager have played pivotal roles. Working together the teams have progressed the implementation of new drilling equipment, together with a movement towards using drone technologies for surveying. Both mechanical and computerised advancements have been supported with the application of Expertir – a blasting software package designed by EPC-UK to combine the multiple streams of data generated by the new technologies and create complex blast designs. Integral too has been the implementation of online cloud-based database Explore, from which all relevant data can be accessed and analysed together.

Also key to the project’s success has been the involvement of our Commercial Manager, Ryan Ward, who says: “Based on a proven track record of trust, KPI realisation and consistent integrity, we have been able to help Tarmac advance its flagship Tunstead quarry with leading technologies, equipment, and an innovative approach to drilling and blasting.


“By working closely as a partnership, effective communications have helped us to nurture a mutual trust with the Tunstead team, together with a commitment to improving operations through a shared corporate ethos.


“Much of our mutual achievement has been realised as a result of the successful blasting activity undertaken at the Tunstead site in the past. Now, by adopting a more active partnership approach – throughout both the transition and future operations strategy – our collective abilities and accomplishments will continue to thrive, subsequently delivering blasting results and heightened safety operations.”


Jason South, Stone Plant Manager at Tunstead Quarry adds: “We’ve been truly impressed with EPC-UK’s approach to conducting its full ‘management of change’ process, which has enabled a successful and compliant Rock-on-Ground transition for Tunstead this year. 

“Through EPC-UK’s delivery of advancements including Expertir, Explore and Drone Surveying services into our operations – alongside a new series of modern drilling equipment with outstanding safety and telematic capabilities and measurements – we’ve felt confident that the transition will realise Tunstead as a truly progressive, digital flagship quarry.”

Jason goes on to explain that the programme will also see a rollout of specialist drill & blast services from the wider EPC-UK Metrics engineering team, a measure forecast to further support Tunstead Quarry in remaining compliant and efficient while moving to a completely digital, paperless blasting operation.

Concluding, Ryan Ward says: “The quarrying developments this progression brings will not only serve to enhance Tunstead’s drill and blast operations and expectations, but will also set a precedent in terms of the achievable capabilities a digital quarry can deliver. We are delighted with the achievement and excited for the future potential it harnesses.”

Dr. Liam Bermingham’s widely acclaimed presentation on the ‘Digitization, Evolution at the Interface Stream’; covers the key technologies put in place to digitize quarrying operations and efficiencies at Tunstead. To watch a video of the presentation…

For further information please contact Ryan Ward on 01773 832253