Calacata Borghini quarry expands its reach
October 26, 2010
Located in the heart of the Apuan Alps, close to the village of Torano in the Carrara region, the Calacata Borghini quarry is named for Paolo Borghini, who has owned the quarry since 1979. Recently, the historic quarry site began a new chapter, as the Santucci Group reached an agreement for the promotion and sales of Calacata Borghini, which is a world-renowned material.
The goal of this partnership is to use Santucci’s sales and marketing experience to enhance the promotion of Calacata Borghini on an international level, explained Fabrizio Santucci, CEO of the Santucci Group, which is based in Carrara and has a U.S. office in Miami, FL.
“We can say with no doubt that this is one of the oldest quarries in Carrara,” said Paolo Borghini. “Some cuts made by the Romans were discovered during the last ‘cleanups,’ and they were donated to the Marble Museum of Carrara.”
Stone extracted from the Calacata Borghini is considered to be the “original” Calacata marble from Italy. From the geological standpoint, the stone extracted from the Calacata Borghini quarry is calcium carbonate - like all the other marbles of the Apuan Area. However, the stone from this particular quarry went through a natural process of re-crystallization that makes it stronger and more durable, allowing it to be used for a full range of applications. This re-crystallization process also gave the stone its unique color and veining.
Stone is extracted from the two separate layers of the quarry. One section is an exterior site, where blocks are extracted using traditional bench quarrying methods, while the other is an underground “gallery.” Both sites are equipped with the latest technology, including Caterpillar loaders and backhoes. These investments were made to produce the best possible blocks, to conserve the environment by minimizing waste and to limit the risks for the quarry workers.
Extraction of blocks inside the gallery is almost totally done with machines, including Fantini chainsaws. This equipment is computer controlled, with an operator using a joystick to execute the various operations. Meanwhile, the exterior stone extraction is done through the use of diamond wire saws.
Monthly production is about 300 cubic meters, and the standard size of the blocks is 9 x 5 x 5 feet. For special projects, the quarry can also producer larger blocks in custom sizes, depending on the specifications of the job.
“The quarry has produced continuously since it was opened, and based on the last geological tests, there will be no shortage of good material - in quantity and quality,” Borghini said. “Also, since there are deeper layers with bigger ‘fronts,’ we expect to have better material in the future in terms of quality and structure.”