The journey of Natural stone like Marble and Granite from the Quarry to someone’s home is an incredible process. Blocks that are about 40000 pounds are removed from the earth, processed and crafted into a gleaming surface on on a floor, bathroom, or kitchen require many steps and intricate details for this to take place.
The first step of Quarrying is finding the material that is optimal in the deposit, composition, colouring, and pattern.
Stone outcrops are taken by geologists, and boring into the earth is required to take core samples with very expensive diamond tipped drilling equipment. These samples are tested for their marketability.
Once a site is determined a lengthy process of acquiring a concession to dig with the local authority is needed. In many parts of the world corruption is an issue with this process. Care for the environment also needs to be taken into consideration before digging can commence.
When the desired stone is identified it can take months of clearing away and removing dirt before the stone is accessible. Complex mining operations are often required in the way of building roads to access a quarry and tunnelling to get to the desired stone has to make place.
After the quarry management has determined how to extract these stone blocks, the drilling process begins. A large dimensional chunk is removed which is then cut into smaller pieces and sent to factories for processing. As well as drills, torches, and cables are used to control the cutting and the falling of the large stone blocks after a dynamite charge releases the block from its wall. This is work is dangerous and calculated due to the size of the stone blocks handled.
Processing can begin once the blocks have been extracted and transported to a facilities for this purpose. The trips are often short in distance, but long in the time taken. Other times they may be purchased by merchants elsewhere and transported great distances over land and sea.
Blocks of stone are cut down into smaller more manageable sizes. For tiles they are cut into billets and then polished. For slabs a gang saw is often used which operates like a huge bread slicer. Gang saws can be adjusted to produce different sized slabs. For more delicate stones a diamond wire saw is used to cut more slowly and gently. In recent times, multi wired gang saws are used to speed up production of these huge and heavy products to meet the growing global demands for Natural stone products.