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Lafarge SA Under Investigation

RR070918 LafargelogoJuly 8, 2018 – This case is getting ugly. LafargeHolcim’s subsidiary Lafarge SA has been placed under formal investigation in France over allegations it financed terrorist groups, and aided and abetted crimes against humanity in a bid to continue operating in Syria, according to news reports. A panel of examining magistrates presiding over the case relating to the operation of the Jalabiya cement plant in Syria by Lafarge Cement Syria between 2011 and 2014, also charged Lafarge SA with violating a European Union embargo on oil purchases. Eight former company executives, including two former chief executives, have been indicted in recent months on charges of financing terrorism and putting the lives of their workers in Syria at risk. All of those officials have resigned from Lafarge, which merged with Holcim in 2015, after the activity in Syria took place. 

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Martin Marietta Still Clearing Bluegrass Hurdles

RFTR MartinMariettaApril 27, 2018 – Martin Marietta Materials Inc. still has a few hurdles to clear with regard to its $1.6 billion purchase of Bluegrass Materials Co. LLC.

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"Howe" Would They Build Bridge to Canada?

RFTR BridgeApril 10, 2018 – According to Politico, Canadian transportation minister Marc Garneau met with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, telling reporters afterward that he reiterated Canada's commitment to working with the U.S. government on the construction of the Gordie Howe Bridge, which would connect Detroit to Windsor.

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The 500 Lake Cook Road Connection

catlogo squareMarch 27, 2018 – I recently heard from John Fischer of Palatine, Ill., who made an interesting observation regarding Caterpillar's new Illinois headquarters: “As one might envision the selected workers of Caterpillar comfortably making their way northward from Peoria, Ill., to their new homestead(s) in Deerfield, Ill. – along pleasing interstates built with earlier versions of the very sorts of equipment they are now responsible for – one might also envision a similar journey made just after World War II as the nation was now finally able to use such sorts of equipment for more productive purposes," he wrote. "This was the journey from Ohio of a small company called Tractomotive that also sought out the northern part of Illinois as a promising site for its operation that would be complete in its capabilities – with all operations from engineering through production at one spot. Its products would in time be shipped all over the world under the original name as well as Allis-Chalmers and finally as FiatAllis. And the connection? That would be that address of 500 Lake Cook Road – perhaps eventualy to become as well known as 100 Northeast Adams Street – that was in fact for many years the exact same one for Caterpillar's former adversary at times, and in a rather interesting turn of things, now to be officially recognized as predecessor. Hallowed ground at 500 Lake Cook Road. There’s just no other explanation." And now you know the rest of the story.

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Let's Get It Right

RR031618 USGSMarch 16, 2018 – This just in from USGS. The envelope, please. The estimated total output of construction aggregates produced for consumption in 2017 was 2.26 billion metric tons, about the same as that in 2016. In its Mineral Commodity Summaries issued late last year, USGS estimated that in 2017, 1.33 billion tons of crushed stone and 890 million tons of construction sand and gravel – 2.22 billion metric tons – would be produced. Unfortunately that was reported as fact by some industry media entities. At least there's some good news: actual production from last year reported this year was higher than reported last year before last year was over. Did you catch all that? 

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