Making the transition to stone processing

February 2, 2004
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While Ber-Oner Mining Inc. has been in operation since 1987, the company did not start working in the stone industry until nearly a decade later. Based in Istanbul, Turkey, it initially established itself as a leader in mining non-ferrous metals such as zinc, lead and copper. It was in 1997 that the company switched gears and seriously committed itself to becoming a player among Turkish marble producers.

Today, Ber-Oner operates several quarries, which are scattered throughout various areas of Anatolia. Currently, travertine blocks are supplied through two different sites - one for Noce and one for Medium travertine - which the company owns. Other materials produced by Ber-Oner include limestone, onyx, Verde Giada, Red Milas and Perlato, which are only available in blocks.

Additionally, the firm has a manufacturing plant in Diyarbakir, which spans across approximately 3 million square feet, with about 86,000 square feet of space allotted for stone processing. According to Ber-Oner, it invested more than $7.5 million in this facility.

The plant is equipped with some of the most advanced Italian machinery from Pedrini. For slab processing, blocks are first cut on one of the company's collection of gangsaws, and from there, the raw slabs are automatically transported to the slab polishing line. After polishing, workers remove the slabs from the line with an overhead jib, and the slabs are prepared for shipment.

Following one of the latest developments in slab processing, Ber-Oner has also invested in a line for adding resin to reinforce stone slabs as needed. When this is desired, workers load the slabs onto the resining line with vacuum lifters, and the resin is applied automatically. To speed up the resining process, large ovens are used to enhance the curing time of the resin.

For tile processing, the blocks are loaded onto Pedrini blockcutters, which cut the stone into strips. These strips are then delivered to a full-scale Pedrini tile line, which includes cross-cutting saws, a polisher and other equipment. Quality control staff from Ber-Oner monitors the line to ensure that the final tiles meet the company's strict quality standards.

Overall, travertine and limestone are available in tiles, slabs and cut-to-size pieces. The company reports that it outputs close to 7 million square feet of finished products annually.

When looking ahead to future objectives, Ber-Oner intends to focus on offering the same high-quality service in the marble sector as it believes it has done since its beginning in the mining industry. The company plans to contribute to Turkey's growing economy by expanding its business to a worldwide market.

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