Recognizing the demand in the market for premium stone products and services, Gautam Chand Jain, chairman and managing director, established Pokarna Limited in 1991. In the 28 years since its origin, the company has grown to become one of the largest exporters of finished granite in Asia – shipping to more than 12 countries globally across Europe, the Middle East and predominantly in North America. Today, Pokarna’s color palette includes 75 varieties of granite, which are sourced in India, as well as Norway, Ukraine and Angola. Two of the company’s most recent additions are Silver Cloud/Viscont White and Crème Cashmere granite, which are both quarried in India.
“India is a vast country having great reserves of natural stones and Pokarna Limited has a big role in introducing new granites to the world often,” stated the company. “Pokarna is incessantly searching for new quarries and optimizing its production of granite.”
With this philosophy in mind, Pokarna’s newest acquisition is the Silver Cloud/Viscont White granite quarry, which it started operating in 2018. The site is located close to Palampally, a small village in the Chittor District of Andhra Pradesh, and sits on 8.8 acres. It is about 320 miles from the company’s factory in Hyderabad.
“Southern India comprises an extensive supracrustal sequence of Proterozoic rocks believed to lie above a number of Archaean Cratons,” explained Naman Tripathi, area sales manager - North America. “The quarry lease area consists of a hill formation of granitic rocks of Proterozoic age, which is overall white in color with feldspar, quartz as essential minerals, and biotite and other ferromagnesium as accessory minerals. The granite is intruded by numerous pegmatite veins and black dykes in which mica is occurring as patches which is effecting the quality of stone at places.”
Tripathi went on to say that there are about 10 quarries operational in this hill and there is a variation in color and pattern from quarry to quarry. “The pegmatite veins trend in the northeast and southwest directions and vary in thickness from a few inches to about a foot,” he said. “The majority of leased area comprises of a flat rugged terrain with a maximum RL of 465 meters on the eastern side and a minimum of 24 meters in the western flank.”
Sensing a huge demand in the U.S., European and domestic market is what led Pokarna to acquire the lease for this quarry, which is operational year-round. The material is available in two variants — Silver Cloud and Viscount White — and processed in both large (10 x 6 feet) and small (6 x 4 feet) sizes. Gangsaw blocks average 260 x 140 cm and up, while other blocks range from 260 x 140 cm and below. At the present time, yearly production is 6,000 cubic meters.
“We at Pokarna respect and believe in conservation of nature,” stated the company. “We have the best machinery from Cummins, Kobelco, Volvo and Benz, which are deployed for excavation. We no longer use the primitive methods for excavation, but use state-of-the-art machines like wire saws, compressors, excavators, rock breakers, generators and dumpers for efficient, effective and safe excavation.”
“There is a good demand for this material both in the U.S. and European markets,” said Tripathi. Currently, the U.S. market makes up 50% of the distribution of material from this quarry, while 15% goes to Europe and 35% stays in India. According to Tripathi, Pokarna is in the process of pitching the material for several projects.
Another fairly recent acquisition for Pokarna was the Crème Cashmere granite quarry that was procured in 2014. This quarry, which also runs year-round, is located in the Vijiyanagaram district of Andhra Pradesh state in India – a little more than 600 miles from the company’s factory. Pokarna explained that the shade of the material is typically accepted all over the world — especially in the U.S. and the domestic market.
“The quarry lease area is a part of Eastern Ghat Mobile belt exposing all the characteristics of litho units consisting of Charnokites, Khandolites, Migmatites and Granitoids,” explained Tripathi. “It’s a variety of hybrid rocks formed by the interaction of intrusive granite into Khandolites. The quarry lease area consists of undulating terrains comprises of migmatite gneiss, khandolite, charnokite and lyptinite having a general trend in the northeast and southwestern direction. The rock which is exploited as a dimension stone in the quarry is lyptinite, which is light cream to white in color with the garnet crystals in the numerous amounts which gives an aesthetic look to the stone after it is polished.”
The material being produced from this site is in two shades. One is a cream color, while the other is light cream to white in color. “It’s a big area and we might get more designs/shades as we explore further from other directions,” said Tripathi.
Pokarna invested in the Crème Cashmere quarry as there is a high demand for white- and cream-colored stones in the international market. “The deposit is so big that it can be operated for a long period,” explained Tripathi.
With more than 1 billion tons available from more than 86 acres in reserve, Pokarna can guarantee delivery of consistently high-quality stone in the long-term. “Efficiency as our goal, the equipment and our methods are compared on a daily basis with the latest methodologies in the sector,” stated the company. At the present time, Pokarna outputs roughly 600 cubic meters of both shades combined on a monthly basis. Blocks are produced in both large sizes for gangsaws and also smaller sizes for monuments.
One of the largest projects for which this material was supplied is world’s biggest gastroenterology hospital, the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology in Hyderabad. The total supply was about 15,000 square feet.