Supplying Jura marble to an international market
September 1, 2007
A group of independent German stone producers joined forces to form JMS Jura Marble Suppliers GmbH -- making the group the largest supplier of Jura marble, specializing in architectural projects. The group is headquartered in Eichstätt, Germany, a medieval town that sits between Munich and Nuremberg. One of the companies within JMS is Neumeyer & Brigl, which owns three quarries and operates a complete stoneworking plant to produce tiles, slabs, cut-to-size and specialty pieces. The company works in cooperation with the other members of JMS to supply its Jura marble products to markets around the world.
Stone World recently had the opportunity to visit one of Neumeyer’s Jura marble quarries -- located in the village of Peter Sbüch, just outside of Eichstätt. The quarry reaches about 19 meters in depth, and it has 25 layers.
Gerhard Ruf, Managing Director of JMS, explained that all 25 layers are visible in the quarry, and the height of each is determined by nature. “Different levels are worked at one time because of the color variations,” he said. “At this quarry, we have all 25 layers, and there is very little overburden. You can count from Layer One to Layer 25.”
In total, Neumeyer & Brigl is comprised of 68 employees, of which six workers and a quarry master work at the site. They drill down to the desired block size, and then they use hydraulic machines to split the block out. The piece is then lifted up with a Caterpillar front loader. Ruf explained that it is not necessary to make horizontal cuts, due to the natural separation of the stone within the earth.
The quarry produces between 4,000 to 8,000 cubic meters of Jura marble per year. And due to winter weather conditions, it is usually closed during the months of December, January and February.
“One important thing to note is that this area was very peaceful,” said Ruf. “There was not a lot of movement. [Therefore], this quarry is excellent in terms of quality. It’s a prime area. They can quarry this one for another 30 years.”