DaPaz is forging a new frontier in Brazilian stone market
With its white/gray coloring and smooth veining, DaPaz of Andradas/MG Brazil intends to make San Pellegrino marble the new “hot” stone for the U.S. market
With the demand for white marble still at a high, Brazilian stone producer DaPaz is confident its new marble San Pellegrino will soon gain recognition in the U.S. market. Located in in the State of Ceará, the northeastern part of Brazil, the material consists of white and gray tones with a smooth movement.
“The quarry is relatively new,” said Fernando DaPaz. “We started researching the area in 2016 when we found some stone pieces that were super sparkling. We kept referring to this research as the ‘sparkling marble’ and when we won the concession by the government, we decided to name the material after the sparkling water, San Pellegrino.”
DaPaz went on to explain that the company received the mining rights in 2018, after almost two years of research and test analysis. “The San Pellegrino performed really well in all the preliminary tests, including the core drilling,” he said. “It wasn’t unusual to have 6 to 10 feet long core drill samples in this area — showing that the San Pellegrino is very compact, dense and hard.
“The test results we ran proved that the San Pellegrino is great not only aesthetically, but also technically,” DaPaz continued. “The coloration is exactly what our customers are asking for — a white/light gray with smooth movement — and its hardness and density make it ideal for many applications.”
Currently, the San Pellegrino site is a one-level/one-pit quarry. But according to DaPaz, after the rainy season the company has plans to enter the second level where the material will be more compact and lighter.
“The reserve is huge with very little variance,” said the stone producer. “The material is great for cross-cut/vein cut variation, but we don’t differentiate the name in those cases. Maybe in the future, if customers start segmenting their order, we might need to come up with names for the different patterns.”
While the quarry is open year-round, production is smaller during the rainy season due to the fact the site is a “buried quarry.” In total, there is a small crew of seven workers and the majority of blocks extracted are on the large side – on average measuring 130 x 70 x 50 inches. “After level two starts operating, we estimate a production of 200 cubic meters per month,” said DaPaz.
The first container of San Pellegrino was shipped to the U.S. in October 2018, and the company presented it to its customers during Coverings, which was held in Orlando, FL, in April. “Hopefully they will like it and we will be able to work with some of them on the basis of representation on their region,” DaPaz said before the show. “I believe that San Pellegrino checks all the boxes on the current trend for U.S. market. Its white/light gray coloration is very appealing and easily matches many cabinet patterns; it has very soft movement, giving it the marble look everybody is asking for; and it is very hard and dense but very easy to work with. It’s not sugary.
“In the short term, opening the second level soon so we can start producing in a quantity that would allow us to enter the projects market,” DaPaz went on to say. “And the long-term goal for this quarry would be to develop a sort of ‘brand’ for the material, so that it could be well-known as ‘Taj Mahal’ or ‘Super White.’”