Markets & Sales
Polaris supplies sand and gravel from the Orca Quarry to customers involved in concrete manufacturing in North America and Hawaii.
Since 2006, there has been a significant decline in activity in all the construction markets served by the Company. The economic stimulus measures implemented during 2009, particularly in the US, failed to have the positive impact on infrastructure spending that had been widely anticipated and demand for the Company's products declined further in that year. 2010 saw further small reductions in demand during the first half following which the bottom of this economic cycle appeared to have been reached. The market is expected to begin increasing again in 2011 and continue to grow thereafter as the economy of North America enters a positive economic cycle.
Supporting the Polaris business plan is the continuing decline in local aggregate resources in Polaris' target markets due to traditional quarries being worked out and replacement quarries being difficult, if not impossible, to permit. This decline in indigenous resources will ultimately require significant volumes of imported materials from marine, rail and long-hauled road sources to meet projected levels of demand.
The Polaris marketing strategy is determined by two long-term supply agreements with Cemex and Shamrock Materials in California and multi-year contracts with Vancouver and Hawaiian based customers. In addition, the Company continues to seek new market opportunities, including Alaska, where sales commenced in 2010.
As new terminals are developed, Polaris will either extend present customer marketing rights or seek new partnerships.
Polaris believes that as sales begin to reach a production of 6 million tons per annum at the Orca Quarry, the Eagle Rock Quarry near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, should begin granite production. In this way, the Company will be able to meet continuing concreting aggregate demand in the served market areas and also enter into the road construction industry, where crushed rock, rather than sand and gravel, is the predominant requirement.
Automated truck loading station in the Richmond Terminal