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Atlantic Sparkle: Liebherr excavators put to use in Nova Scotia granite quarry

Two Liebherr wheeled excavators feed a Nordberg crusher.
Two Liebherr wheeled excavators feed a Nordberg crusher.

The Lange family not only has a premier rock quarry in the heart of Nova Scotia that produces fine quality granite – which they call “Atlantic Sparkle” – and Class A aggregates, they also do precision blasting, mobile crushing and stonework construction.

“Atlantic Sparkle” is a durable, long lasting, attractive granite that is building a solid reputation in Nova Scotia and beyond. It is part of the largest granitic body in the Appalachians.

Their Class A aggregate is used in ready mix concrete, asphalt and other types of construction and road building applications. The quarry also produces clearstone, gabion rock, and wellrock that complies with provincial water guidelines.

Matthias “Matt” Lange found the quarry site near Maplewood and opened Lange’s Rock Farm in 1996. He is the owner and primarily manages the operations in the quarry.

His son, Lukas, president of the company, is responsible for the work on job sites, from drilling and blasting to stone construction. Matt’s wife, Silvia, is the office manager and gets involved in other aspects of the business as needed. The company has two other full time employees.

The operation has a European feel to it, which is understandable as Matt learned his trade in Switzerland and now applies those skills in Canada. This is reflected in his choice of equipment, the quarry operation, and the high quality craftsmanship of their stone construction.


Lange’s Rock Farm has a fleet of four Liebherr excavators: A 902, A 312 and A 308 wheeled excavators and R 942 crawler excavator. For handling quarried stone, the wheeled excavators are essential to the operation. “We couldn’t do the work without wheeled excavators,” said Matt. “You can pick, load and go with the wheeled excavator.”

The Langes utilize a wide assortment of attachments on their excavators, including standard buckets, ditching buckets, a clamshell bucket and a Krupp drill. On their Liebherr A 312, they have the optional LIKUFIX hydraulic coupler system that allows the operator to change to any attachment without the need to get out of the operators cab to disconnect and reconnect hoses. Silvia says that she really likes the setup because it is so easy to use.

Their most recent acquisition, the A 308, is the smallest wheeled excavator that Liebherr makes. Matt says that he would like to see more of the smaller Liebherr products offered in the Canadian market and he believes that they would be very well received by contractors.

Matt says that he likes Liebherr equipment for its quality. He had a chance to run his Liebherr R 942 crawler excavator, with more than 17,000 hours on the meter, head to head against a competitive brand machine that had approximately 7,000 hours on it and he said “the Liebherr machine was tight and smooth while the other machine was rough and had play in the boom.”

In addition to the quality, Matt, Silvia and Lucas also find great value in the overall fuel efficiency of the machines, as well as the support that they receive from the Liebherr Canada service and parts personnel in the Maritimes, headed up by the branch manager, Mike Clark.


To access the granite, Matt has to remove quartzite which makes good aggregate, especially for roadbuilding.

He uses only jaw crushers, no cone crushers. “You can let them run empty and they won’t ruin the bearings,” he says. “They are way cheaper and way easier to fix. They don’t get the production of a cone crusher but it is good enough for our needs.”

He has a Nordberg crusher which he likes as it just “goes, goes and goes.” Other equipment includes a Tipex secondary jaw crusher, Brown Lennox secondary jaw crusher, Tamrock 100 Commando drill, Cat 914 wheel loader, an International truck, Atlas Copco compressors, Pakon 100t stone splitter, and three Bergmann dumpers – something that is unusual in North America but which suits his operation to a “T”.


The construction projects that they do which involve granite blocks are first built in the quarry. Each stone is then numbered and the information recorded on paper. The wheeled excavators make it easier to move and place the large stone blocks both in the quarry and on the job site.

8Among the construction projects they have done are three jobs for the city of Halifax. They just finished a $700,000 project for the city along the Northwest Arm, an inlet from the Atlantic Ocean. Because of rising sea levels and storms due to climate change, the ocean was going over the old walls and needed to be replaced. Lange’s granite was chosen as the city wanted something that would last 100 years and would resist corrosion from salt water.

The Liebherr 902 wheeled excavator at work on a seawall in Halifax.
A polished piece of “Atlantic Sparkle” granite.

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