Advanced quarry saw extracts premium Italian marble

September 1, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Deep within the Apuan Alps of Italy -- where CAI Mountaineering trails cross the quarry road -- Ezio Ronchieri extracts some of the Carrara region's finest materials. The underground, multi-level quarry produces Statuario, Carrara P, Calacatta and Arabescato marbles, and it is renowned for its high-quality materials. Recently, the quarry became even more noteworthy for its investment in a technologically advanced mobile chainsaw, which can reach virtually any area of the quarry with minimal setup time.

The quarry is located at an altitude of nearly 5,600 feet at the end of a winding road outside the village of Arni, about 90 minutes from Carrara. Stone is quarried at several levels within the site, and the various levels are connected by a series of ladders.

To extract the stone, the workers have a very specific cutting plan, where they work within different "rooms" or "galleries" within the quarry. Large chainsaws from Fantini, an Italian firm, are used to make vertical and horizontal cuts as needed, and they are in use throughout the quarry site.

Most recently, Ezio Ronchieri purchased the Fantini Model GU.70 chainsaw, a mobile machine designed to make cuts as high as nearly 20 feet from the ground. The chainsaw blade itself is capable of nearly a 10-foot cut in the stone, and it is equipped with STX diamonds from GE Superabrasives.

To operate the saw, the workers use a remote control to move the unit into position, and the chainsaw is then maneuvered into the proper spot. After pneumatic supports are automatically placed into position, sawing can begin.

In addition to the Model GU.70 chainsaw, Ezio Ronchieri has several other Fantini saws in operation at the quarry site. Some of these saws, which are used to cut vertically as well as horizontally, are well over 20 years old.

Once blocks are pulled from the quarry face, they are squared with diamond wire saws and maneuvered with a series of loaders. Large drilling rigs are also used for block squaring.

The production total at the quarry varies, depending on the stone being extracted and the section of the quarry the workers are mining. Also, given the value of the premium stones being produced by the quarry, Ezio Ronchieri focuses primarily on the quality of the blocks it extracts as opposed to the quantity.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

Recent Articles by Michael Reis

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The Stone Fashion Show at Marmomacc in Verona

As usual, stone suppliers from Italy and around the world relied on the Marmomacc fair to showcase some of the latest stone materials to the international marketplace. The following is a look at just some of the stone materials on display in Verona.

Stone World Magazine

Stone World September 2014 cover

2014 September

In this issue of Stone World, we have a Report from Europe, which includes a series of articles about the quarries and stone processing operations that SW editor Jennifer Adams visited as part of the Marmomacc Stone Academy.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD Fall 2014 cover

2014 Fall

In this issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, we take a look at the latest developments in TPT, with a feature article and you can read more comments from Waldrep on this subject as well as other industry professionals.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


Are you aware of the new stone standard – ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainability Assessment for Natural Dimension Stone?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Stone Guide

2014 Stone World Stone Guide

The directory for Stone, Equipment and Supplies - the single information resource readers turn to.

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.


facebook logo Twitter  YouTubeGoogle+