Granitos S/A of Caucaia, in the state of Ceara, Brazil, is headquartered in the northeast region of the country and was established in 1988. Current president and founder Francisco Silveira was working in construction at the time, simultaneously looking for a solution to use granite for cladding in one of the buildings he was working on. As part of his search, he travelled to Marmomacc, the international stone exhibition held annually in Verona, Italy, and began researching the subject in order to do a solid installation, which was not common in Brazil at that time. He fell in love with the stone “world,” and subsequently, started Granos Granitos S/A. Today, the company operates 11 quarries throughout the country, including the new Perla Santana quartzite quarry in Santana, Ceara, the White Alpha granite quarry in Santa Quiteria, Ceara, the Woodstone quarry in Sao Goncalo do Amarante, Ceara and eight additional locations that produce according to demand.
Each location has an average of 15 employees. Currently, a major focus of the company is supplying cut-to-size projects for higher level materials from Brazil, such as quartzites and granites, which are suitable for projects that require durability and low maintenance.
“Our company has been following the market over the last years,” explained David Silveira, export manager for Granitos S/A. “Until 2008, we were exporting 80% of our production — slab distribution. In 2009, when the American economy collapsed, we shifted our efforts towards the Brazilian market, and for a few years, we were selling 70% of our production in the local market — mainly cut-to-size projects. Recently, with the Brazilian economy slowing down, and the American economy recovering, we have been able to export an average of 60% of our production.”
These numbers are reflected in the total sales for the company, where 45% of slab distribution is in North America, including more than 200 distributors. Brazil cut-to-size projects are responsible for only 30% of total sales and 10% of slab distribution. Rounding out the numbers is 8% block sales to China and Italy, and finally, 7% slab distribution to Europe and other countries.
Some recent projects include 51 Astor Place in New York, NY; the Eau Claire Building in Calgary, Canada; the Casino of Montreal and Windsor Tower, both in Montreal, Canada and the Sao Paulo international airport terminals two and three in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“With Brazil being more competitive, one of our goals is to increase our participation in supplying cut-to-size projects around the world and promoting our own quarry, White Alpha granite, for projects and slab distribution,” said Silveira. “Besides this, we have been investing recently in our quartzite quarry named Perla Santana. We can see that quartzites are one of the natural stones that have been increasing sales more than average in the industry.”
The Perla Santana Quarry
The Perla Santana quartzite quarry in Santana, Ceara is the company’s most recently opened quarry, established in September 2015. Here, 60% of the work is exported to the U.S. For machinery at the facility, a team of 30 people use three 992 Caterpillar loaders, two 323 Caterpillars, five energy generators with 187KVa from Atlas Copco and nine wire machines from Ecotools for cutting.
“We have produced during these last months around 75 cubic meters per month,” said Silveira. “We are currently producing 100 to 125 cubic meters, and we plan to reach, at some point, 300 cubic meters. Other consolidated quarries of quartzite in the region are quarrying around 300 cubic meters, so we think this is a balanced production for a mature quarry. Ultimately, our goal is to reach a sustainable production in order to keep the quarry running for a long time and maintaining the value of the material.”