Founded in 1989, Granistone has developed into one of the largest granite and marble extraction companies in Brazil. The company headquarters are located in Fazenda Lagoana, Santa Quiteria, in the middle of inland Ceará, about 150 miles from the capital city of Fortaleza. Among its many endeavors, Granistone extracts material from its massive Ceará White granite quarry in Santa Quiteria, and it also extracts a variety of exotic materials from neighboring states.
The “Asa Branca” quarry for Ceará White granite currently yields 1,000 cubic meters of material per month, and it has yielded twice that amount as demand has required. “We analyzed the situation, and it’s not good to put too much material on the market,” explained Julio Filho, Commercial Director of Granistone.
The quarry sits on 565 hectares (1,400 acres) of land, with 30 hectares (74 acres) currently being worked. The quarry employs between 80 and 90 workers, and stone is extracted using modern equipment such as drills and diamond wire saws, which ensure that there are no environmental or physical damages to the granite blocks that are produced.
Additionally, the quarry houses modern transportation equipment such as Caterpillar 922C and 922B loaders, Caterpillar 245 excavators, a Komatsu D50 tractor, a range of off-road trucks, Atlas and Chicago compressors, etc. For machinery maintenance, Granistone employs a specialized team of mechanics and has an on-premises workshop to ensure that the extraction process continues without interruption.
The quarry produces range of materials under the Ceará White category, depending on shade and patterning, such as the Cotton Motion granite that has been popular for architectural applications. But for all varieties, the color and patterning must be very consistent. “With white materials, the pattern and color are very strict,” said Filho, who added that core drilling is done on a regular basis to help plan future quarry expansion. “We have to plan one year forward.”
When new areas of the quarry are opened, landscaping professionals are brought in to help reclaim the closed sections of the quarry, and there are strict policies in place to control where the waste is deposited.
Exotics from neighboring statesIn addition to the white quarries in Ceará, Granistone is extracting a range of materials in neighboring states. These quarries operate on a smaller scale, although they still utilize modern extraction techniques and equipment such as diamond wire. Blocks are cut on six faces with diamond wire, and they have an average size of 2.9 meters long x 1.9 meters high with widths varying between 1 to 2 meters. “We can take big blocks, and the only drilling is for pilot holes,” Filho said.
Among Granistone’s quarries in the state of Piaui, located to the west and south of Ceará, is a site for Cavalavoro. This quarry yields a total of 100 cubic meters per month, and it is marketed by major stone suppliers around the world.
Only 6 miles from the Cavalavoro quarry in Piaui, Granistone extracts Speranza, a dark green material with lighter green highlights.
Recently, Granistone began working a quarry for Portugallo, which is a brown material with light green accents. This site was discovered one year ago, and the material is still in the process of being introduced to the marketplace. “If the American market was doing better, we would develop the quarry faster, but we need to be patient,” Filho said. “It is not the best moment to be introducing new materials, but we are still opening some fronts and testing material, so that we can introduce a small amount to the market.”
In addition to materials being marketed as granite, Granistone is extracting a variety of marble at a site in Piaui, which has shades of gold, blue, white and onyx.
In the state of Paraiba, to the east of Ceará, Granistone operates a quarry for a turquoise variety of amazonite, a semi-precious material that is also marketed under the name Cyan Mist. Yield for this quarry totals 30 cubic meters per month.