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The location of aggregate materials through the appraisal of geological and geotechnical information and the eventual selection of sites from which to extract them, requires the collation of data from many sources through desk studies, followed by field reconnaissances and the evaluation of prospects to the necessary level of geological assurance. After the identification of a possibly useful deposit, further, more specific investigations of its physical and mechanical characteristics may confirm that it is potentially useful as aggregate, i.e. it is a resource (McKelvey 1972), and that certain parts of it may be capable of being worked at a profit in prevailing market conditions and so may be regarded as a reserve (§3.7.2).

Whilst the main objective of this section is to outline methods for investigating and reporting on possible sources of aggregate, some attention is also given to operational, commercial, environmental and planning matters which, along with the geological factors, have to be considered by the engineer or geologist during the assessment of reserves for a quarrying prospect.

Thus, previously unreleased records of mining and quarrying operations, former aggregate workings or of investigations for them or for civil engineering works such as major road schemes, may be relevant, along with land use or soil surveys for agricultural purposes, old topographic maps and even local oral tradition from well sinkers, farmers and the local population (Chaplow 1975).

Although the assembly of published and unpublished data will draw primarily on the collation of available previous geological and geotechnical

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