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Mineral Aggregates

Halton Region is home to a number of mineral aggregate operations - pits and quarries. Learn about policies, licensing and applications under review.

Mineral aggregates refer to pits and quarries that provide sand, gravel and bedrock used in roads and building construction. In 2016, there were 22 licensed aggregate sites in Halton Region. Most of the pits and quarries are located along the Niagara Escarpment.

Policies and licensing

Aggregate sites are licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act. The Halton Regional Official Plan contains policies that deal with public safety, environmental impacts, and the protection of natural heritage, agriculture, as well as ground and surface water.

Approval for new and expanded licenses

While the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry approves licenses for new or expanded aggregate operations, approvals from different agencies are required including:

Joint Agency Review Team (JART)

Halton Region and the agencies review applications through a Joint Agency Review Team (JART) process. This team undertakes the technical review of studies submitted in support of aggregate applications such as:

  • Hydrogeology
  • Planning justification
  • Archaeology
  • Air
  • Noise
  • Blasting
  • Natural heritage
  • Cultural heritage and archaeology
  • Traffic

Together, the agencies share information and expertise, collaborate, and engage the public at early stages of an application.

The JART’s structure, objectives, working relationship, and work plan are outlined in the Halton Consolidated Streamlined Mineral Aggregate Review Protocol which was updated in February 2020:

The following One Page Summary of the JART Protocol provides an overview of the JART review process:


Halton Region reviews applications for aggregate operations internal and external to Halton Region.

Some of the documents posted on this page are not screen-reader compatible. If you require the information below in an alternate format, please contact or call 311.

James Dick Construction Ltd. is proposing a new 39.4 hectare quarry within the Township of Guelph/Eramosa, on the north side of Highway 7, immediately adjacent to lands within the Town of Milton, and approximately 7.5 km west of Acton (Town of Halton Hills).

Applications to amend the Wellington County Official Plan and Township of Guelph/Eramosa Zoning By-law, plus a corresponding Aggregate Resources Act application, were submitted to those municipalities to permit a new Category 2, Class ‘A’ aggregate operation on these lands. Halton Region, the Town of Milton, and Town of Halton Hills participated in those processes as affected municipalities.

In July 2019, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) hearing on the Aggregate Resources Act and Planning Act applications concluded. Halton Region is awaiting the decision on that hearing to determine any next steps.

Reports to Regional Council

A decision was made by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) on February 11, 2020 that approved the quarry proposal by James Dick Construction Limited. Final approval is being withheld by LPAT pending fulfillment of a number of requirements by James Dick Construction Limited:

In August 2018, the Region became aware of an Aggregate Resources Act application to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) by James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL) for a new quarry at Reid Side Road and Twiss Road in Milton, to reactivate the former Woodlawn Guelph Campbellville Pit. JDCL has applied for a Class A Category 1 & 2 licence covering 29.4 hectares (73 acres) with an extraction area of 25.7 hectares (63.5 acres) for sand, gravel, and bedrock. The maximum annual tonnage is proposed to be 990,000 tonnes. No corresponding Planning Act applications have been filed. Halton Region, the Town of Milton, and Conservation Halton are participating in the Aggregate Resources Act application process managed by MNRF through a joint agency review team (JART) process.

In September 2018, the Region issued a Letter of Objection to the proponent and to MNRF (PDF file). The September 2018 Letter of Objection outlined twenty-four, high-level issues with the proposed application covering the following themes:

  • The potential effects of the operation of the proposed pit and quarry on the environment have not been adequately addressed
  • The potential effects of the operation of the proposed pit and quarry on nearby communities have not been adequately addressed
  • The suitability of the progressive rehabilitation and final rehabilitation plans for the site have not been adequately addressed
  • The potential effects on ground and surface water resources including on drinking water sources and private wells have not been adequately addressed
  • Detailed consideration should be given to planning and land use matters
  • Three miscellaneous issues

JDCL responded to Halton Region in a letter dated December 11, 2018. Staff provided an update to Halton Region Council at its meeting of March 27, 2019. The staff report provided a summary of the September Letter of Objection, as well as a reference map and JDCL’s reply to Halton’s September letter.

JDCL triggered a 20-day reply period in a letter dated April 29, 2019 (PDF file). Halton Region provided a reply letter within that period (PDF file), identifying that objections raised in September 2018 had not been resolved.

Halton, Milton, and Conservation Halton provided detailed comments through JART review to JDCL and MNRF on July 31, 2019. The cover letter summarizing key thematic issues with JDCL’s submission was supplemented by a detailed comment table prepared by staff and retained consultants.

JART staff from Halton Region, the Town of Milton and Conservation Halton has been assessing updated information that JDCL provided JART members as a response to their individual objections. JART has met with the proponent and are investigating the range of issues and objections raised by the organizations through the JART review process. This has resulted in updated information being posted to the proponent’s public website and a number of alterations to the proposed quarry, including a reduced scale of extraction and mitigation and contingency measures for quarrying. Conservation Halton, Town of Milton, and Halton Region continue to have ongoing objections to the proposed quarry as noted in their objection and response letters. Conversations with the proponent are ongoing as mandated by the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA).

This following documents contain technical input only and does not represent a Council position at this time:

A second letter from James Dick Construction Limited was received on November 26, 2020 (PDF file)Halton Region replied to that letter (PDF file) indicating that objections remained.

On January 29, 2021, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks posted to the Environmental Registry of Ontario a proposal to designate the project as an undertaking under the Environmental Assessment Act (external link).  A joint submission of Halton Region, the Town of Milton, and Conservation Halton was made in response to the proposal (PDF file), identifying a number of key items and specific content requirements recommended for any environmental assessment, should one be approved.  The submission was made conditional upon Council endorsement.  (This page will be updated to reflect any direction from Regional Council.)

Halton Region and JART partners are currently reviewing updated information provided by JDCL in November 2020.

Staff Contact

The staff contact for this project is:

Joe Nethery, Manager of Community Planning
Planning Tel: 905-825-6000 Ext. 3035
Planning Fax: 905-825-8822
Toll-free Tel: 1-866-4HALTON (1-866-442-5866)
TTY: 905-827-9833

Current Application

The Burlington Quarry is located to the west of the hamlet of Mount Nemo in the City of Burlington. On May 14, 2020, Halton Region received an application from Nelson Aggregates to amend the 2009 Regional Official Plan to expand the Burlington Quarry by extending the license and extraction areas to the south and west of the existing quarry lands.

Application Status  

Halton Region deemed the application as complete on July 20, 2020. It is currently under review by Regional staff. The application is currently under technical review by Halton Region, City of Burlington, Conservation Halton, and Niagara Escarpment Commission staff through a Joint Agency Review Team framework.

Regional Council is responsible for making a decision on the proposed ROPA. The MNRF, through the ARA site plan approval process, is ultimately responsible for making a decision on the quarry expansion.

JART Agencies and Additional Applications Filed

Halton Region 45-day Objection Letter

On December 14, 2020, the Region’s Chief Planning Official issued a Letter of Objection to the Aggregate Resources Act Licence Application outlining a series of concerns related to the proposed quarry expansion.  Concerns identified in this letter was informed by the review of technical reports and studies submitted in support of the application by staff and retained consultants.  The same concerns were submitted on December 18, 2020, in response to the Environmental Registry of Ontario posting # 019-2698.

Download a copy of the letter:

Virtual Public Consultation: December 10, 2020

Halton Regional Council passed a motion on November 25, 2020, that among other things, directed staff to contact Nelson Aggregate Co. to schedule and support the delivery of a virtual public information session for the ARA Licence application.

A virtual public consultation was held on Thursday, December 10, 2020.  The event was held in response to the resolution unanimously adopted by Regional Council on November 25, 2020.

This virtual public consultation was recorded and included a brief presentation from Nelson Aggregate’s project team that was followed by a Question and Answer period.

Download a copy of the presentations:

Download a copy of the transcribed Question and Answers:

View a recording of the PIC here:

Joint Agency Review Team (JART) Technical Comments

Staff and peer reviewers from Halton Region, the City of Burlington, Conservation Halton and the Niagara Escarpment Commission completed the first round of technical review of the reports submitted by Nelson Aggregates in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 through JART review. The following detailed comments were delivered to Nelson Aggregates upon completion of that review.

Visual Impact Assessment Technical Comments:

Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Technical Comments:

Blasting Impact Assessment Technical Comments:

Registered Agreements and Reference Plan Technical Comments:

Agricultural Impact Assessment Technical Comments:

Financial Impact Assessment Technical Comments:

Traffic Impact Assessment Technical Comments:

Environment and Water Resource Technical Comments:

MNRF Notice of Complete Application

On Thursday, October 29, 2020, Nelson Aggregates posted notice in the Burlington Post of the first 45-day review period. It indicated that materials were posted on their project website (external link) and that their consultant team is available for direct questions. The applicant has indicated there will be no public information session during this 45-day review period. The deadline for filing letter of objection with Nelson Aggregates and MNRF is December 14, 2020.

Submission Materials

The following materials were submitted with the application on May 14, 2020 (or alternate date, if applicable):

Cover Letter and Application Form

Planning Studies and Drawings

Agriculture, Archaeology, and Visual Impact Studies

Environment and Water Resource Technical Studies

Land Use Compatibility Studies

Other Technical Studies

Previous Application          

In 2004, and revised in 2006 and 2008, Nelson Aggregates filed applications to amend the requesting a Regional Official Plan to re-designate lands and permit expansion to the south of the quarry.  At its meeting in October 2009, Regional Council did not support the Regional Official Plan Amendment application and advised the Joint Board. In 2012, the Joint Board Hearing denied the application.

The following reports relate to the applications made during that time period:

Staff Contact

The staff contact for this project is:

Janice Hogg, Senior Planner
905-825-6000, ext. 2921
Planning Fax: 905-825-8822
Toll-free Tel: 1-866-4HALTON (1-866-442-5866)
TTY: 905-827-9833

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