A new source for pure black granite in India
October 1, 2009
Less than one year ago, Tab India started extracting material that it reports to be the darkest black available in India and possibly the world. “The granite comes from one of the most difficult quarrying areas, where getting large block sizes has traditionally been a big problem, hence other quarries have stayed away from that area,” stated the company. “However, with modern machines and state-of-the-art quarrying technology, Tab has already started commercial production of large gangsaw-sized blocks from this quarry for more than six months. Tab India, which was already a known powerhouse from India in natural stones, especially in black granites, has an added feather in its cap with this quarry.”
According to the company, the material is one of the best known blacks in India with a very dark color, characterized by a fine/closed grain, which makes it look almost artificial. “The material takes a polish of more than 110 points on a gloss meter and is of a monument grade,” stated the company. “The material is so dark that no artificial resin/epoxy or enhancer is needed, as the original color itself is very dark. Tab is also one of the only companies in India to not use any color enhancement resin/epoxies on its black granite. The Supreme Black is also one of the only granites to be stainproof from acidic juices like lemon/orange, coffee, tea, Coca-Cola, etc.”
The quarry falls in the natural “Dolorite Dyke” geological region, which Tab reports contains some of the best black granite varieties in India. “Black granite comes from these types of dykes and traditionally these dykes are not larger than 25 meters in width,” stated the company. “However, the initial deposit of Tab’s quarry has an exposed 55-meter width of deposit. The quarry is more than 20 acres large with current quarrying being worked on in a 250-meter length and 55-meter width. The quarry has a reserve/deposit of more than 500,000 cubic meters, out of which at least 40% is recoverable commercially. This means that at least 200,000 cubic meters can be produced - half of which is large gangsaw-sized blocks and half is for cut-to-size, medium-sized slabs and tiles.”
According to Tab India, the life of this quarry can easily be assessed for another 25 years. “The blocks being quarried are of the largest possible sizes that can be produced as well as processed in a gangsaw machine - an average of 330 x 200 x 200 cm. The smaller blocks - 220 x 120 cm up to 260 x 160 cm - are being used for cut-to-size and pre-fabricated countertops as well as tiles in various formats and finishes.”
The quarry is currently producing about 250 cubic meters of blocks per month. However, with the company introducing more mechanization at the site, this quantity should go up to 500 cubic meters per month before the end of 2009.
Tab India is currently using two Hitachi excavators (each with a 35-ton capacity), four wire saws, six Taurus trucks, air compressors and a range of hydraulic tools, such as jackhammers and drilling rigs. Proposed additions include a derrick crane with a 40-meter span and a 20-meter lift, and a gantry crane with a 20-meter span and 7-meter lift to stock, load and transport blocks on a 250-meter track. Power pullers are operated by hydraulic power for easy removal of blocks from the “parent rock,” and front loaders allow for easy shifting of blocks.
Commitment to the environmentTab India is an ISO 9001:2000 certified company by TUV of Germany and is also undergoing certification for “contributing towards environment and society.” With this in mind, Tab is incorporating all of the green techniques of production and preservation at the quarries as well. The quarries utilize electricity-based extraction machines and compressors as opposed to diesel fuel, which reduces/eliminates air pollution. The company has also developed enough trees and plantation around and in the quarry to set off any additional pollution caused due to quarrying. The quarry uses an imported non-explosive agent from Crackamite of the U.S. instead of using the traditional blasting methods, which not only improves production at the quarry, but also eliminates any health hazards for the quarry workers. The use of wire saws to extract the blocks from the “parent rock” also increases the production versus the traditional system.
All workers inside the quarry are trained to use all personal protection devices such as helmets, safety glasses, ear plugs, industrial boots and protective boots, all of which are mandatory for everyone to use. A large kitchen with a trained team of cooks provides for hygienic and healthy food, free of charge to all workers at the quarry by the company - along with other benefits such as health check-ups, personal insurance, etc.
As part of its social corporate responsibility towards society, Tab has adopted a school in the nearby village for children from underprivileged families, and it is providing for their education expenses.
“Tab wants to make this quarry as a model quarry for the industry,” stated the company. It is also planning to start three more black quarries that it already has acquired - one in the same area as the Supreme Black site and two in other areas. Tab India is also planning to open a few more colored granite quarries as a plan to completely vertically integrate their operation - from quarrying to production.