Large Sumas Mountain quarry up for sale

Seller says development could follow mine’s eventual closure

A large quarry on Sumas Mountain is up for sale, with agents suggesting the site could eventually be redeveloped decades down the line.

The 361-acre mine sits on the southern flanks of Sumas Mountain, above the Se:math First Nation lands. It’s currently owned by Clayburn Industries, former operators of the Clayburn Brick Plant, which used material from the mine for decades.

Sandstone and shale from the site have been used in myriad other construction projects since open-pit mining started in 1950, and, although the brick plant closed in 2011, the mine is expected to have another quarter-century of life left in it.

With Clayburn Industries winding down operations, Avison Young has been enlisted to sell the several properties that comprise the site.

Avison Young principal Michael Farrell said there’s no fixed price for the property, given its rarity, but the agency has set $45 million as a “guidance price.”

“That’s what we figure it’s worth,” he said, noting that the property boasts value both as an ongoing mine with decades of life left in it and as a potential site for future development.

The assessed value of the land is just under $10 million. In an email, Farrell wrote that “my experience has been that assessed values don’t often reflect market value, especially for unique properties like this one.”

The area is also home to other quarries that aren’t being sold.

Farrell said the site is the “largest operating sandstone and shale quarry in the Pacific Northwest” that is used to supply cement manufacturers, and it’s expected the mine can continue to operate until 2045.

After that, Farrell says there is long-term residential and commercial potential for the area, which Avison Young’s marketing material says is “in the path of development.”

The land currently lies outside of the city’s urban development boundary and is deemed “rural” in the city’s Official Community Plan. But that plan is based on building Abbotsford into a community of 200,000; after that population is reached – which is expected to happen sometime in the 2040s – a new plan would presumably be developed.

Avison Young’s sales material states: “From conversations with the City of Abbotsford, there is potential in the long term for zoning and OCP amendments, with the purpose of residential and commercial development.”

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