Aggregate: key figures

Published on 7 February 2008

Aggregate consists of mineral particles (small pieces of rock). The names given to different types of aggregate depend on the size of the particles, which varies between 0 mm and 125 mm: fillers, fine sand, sand, chippings, gravel and ballast.

There are three categories of aggregate, depending on the origin of the rock. These are alluvial aggregates, massive rock aggregates (volcanic or calcareous) or recycled aggregates. Geologically, aggregates are extremely varied.

They are the essential raw material for the building and civil engineering sectors and provide concrete with its skeleton, accounting for 70% of its volume.


Building construction : 80 million tonnes per year (20 %)

Public Works : 320 million tonnes per year (80 %)

TOTAL : 400 million tonnes per year

Which translates into 7 tonnes per inhabitant per year (20 kg per day)
of which a total of 130 million tonnes (30%) are used to manufacture concrete.

Each day it is necessary to produce 1 million tonnes of aggregate to meet needs.

Production breaks down as follows:

* Alluvial aggregate 40 %

* Calcareous aggregate 25 %

* Igneous aggregate 30 %

* Recycled aggregate 5 %

A house: 100 to 300 tonnes of aggregate

A secondary school: 2,000 to 4,000 tonnes of aggregate

One kilometre of motorway: 20,000 to 30,000 of aggregate

One kilometre of highway: 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of aggregate

One kilomtre of railway: 12,000 à 16,000 tonnes of aggregate