Starting in 1978 with a singlequarry,Gramilhas became a leading producer of material in Brazil, with 16 quarries and more than 50 different materials in its product line. Among them, the Perla Venata quarry in the state of Ceará has been yielding a distinctive variety of white quartzite for two years now.

“This is a new area of expansion for the company,” explained company co-owner Attila Vieira Secchin. “We looked around the Ceará region, and I was referred to the site by a colleague, who spoke of a material that was more white than Madreperola. We did some drilling to explore, and determined a starting point. We went on horseback at first and then developed a small road that was expanded over time.”

Gramil purchased the land, and the company is now extracting 300 cubic meters of Perla Venata per month. “The market actually wants more than that,” Secchin said. “It has been busier than we imagined.”

In addition to countertops, Perla Venata is also well suited for large-format flooring applications. “The material has great durability for high-traffic areas, and we want to supply it for large projects in addition to slabs,” Secchin said.

At the quarry site, stone is extracted using drills and four diamond wire saws from Perfora/Atlas Copco, along with a bulldozer, two frontloaders, two compressors and two electricity generators. A total of 11 workers are on site at the quarry.

Secchin reports that the site has deep reserves that will keep it operational for many years to come — “an entire mountain of material.” Typically, blocks measure 3 x 1.9 meters in size.

The most popular markets for Perla Venata are North America (for slabs) and Italy and India (for blocks). In the U.S., Gramil sells through major distributors, and it has three sales representatives directly serving the American market.

With an industrial park of almost 540,000 square feet, Gramil is among the larger stoneworking companies in Brazil, and it employs a range of state-of-the-art equipment, including multi-wire saws, traditional gangsaws, automated polishers, automated resining lines and driers. It also operates equipment for cut-to-size work, such as bridge saws, edge polishers and CNC stoneworking centers.

Overall, Gramil has a capacity of more than 270,000 square feet (25,000 sq.m) of polished slabs and 110,000 square feet (10,000 sq.m) of customized orders, with a nominal capacity of 100 containers/month.

In marketing its products, Gramil is a regular at some of the world’s major stone fairs, such as Marmomacc in Verona, Italy, the Xiamen Stone Fair in China, the Vitória Stone Fair in Brazil and Coverings in Atlanta, GA.