At some point everyone in the stone business has found themselves looking at a beautiful slab in their shop and wondering where it could have come from and how it ended up there. The general areas of the world are easy: Brazil, Italy, China, or India supply most of the stone that we work with. The real fun starts when you dig a bit deeper. In this article we’ll follow how Brothers in Granite, a producer and exporter of natural stone from Brazil, finds quarries and stone from across their country. Join us on this adventure and find your favorites!
The richness of Brazil
Brazil has the greatest diversity of natural stone types and colors in the world and is home to over 1500 active quarries. The state of Espirito Santo itself, where Brothers is headquartered, is the epicentre of the stone trade and has some of the largest reserves of granite and marble in the country.
This doesn’t mean it’s easy for “Quarry Hunters” to find their prey. The vastness of the country and the rural nature of these quarries means limited roads and access routes. Even a short drive might be several hours over dangerous terrain and sometimes a helicopter is the only way in! In the end, every adventure has its own risks and the ultimate goal is worth the effort!
Speaking broadly, the south of Espirito Santo and in particular the city of Cachoeiro are home to the quarries most popular Brazilian marbles. This is where you’ll find popular stones such as Supreme White, Aurelius White, Aspen White, Ice Crystal, and White Cloud. Most of these stones are actually dolomite, a relative of marble with much greater durability. A more familiar example of this type of stone is Super White. These dolomites are hard enough that many people still confuse them for granites or quartzites.
Travelling north in Espirito Santo is where you’ll find the classic granites that form the backbone of Brazilian exporters and American fabricators alike. Giallo Ornamental, New Venetian Gold, Ornamental White, and New Caledonia are some of the classic colors of this region. Production here is much more decentralized than in the south and some of these quarries are very remote!
A vast hunting ground
Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area, at over 3.2 million square miles. To cover these vast distances quickly (and sometimes because there’s no other option) helicopter travel is often the best solution to reach quarries and make purchases. Valle Nevado, a very popular granite recently, is one of the quarries commonly flown into (along with White Ice, Everest White, Delicatus and Alpine).
Helicopter travel is often the best solution to reach quarries and make purchases. The journey to the Taj Mahal site requires a six-hour flight followed by a five-hour car ride
Valle nevado Quarry
Despite all this, it can be very difficult to access quarries during certain times of the year. Helicopters are sometimes impossible to arrange and then the only option is to make a drive in rough weather when heavy rains can turn roads into rivers in the blink of an eye!
Taj Mahal – The Long Journey
Sometimes even a helicopter isn’t enough! Located over 1300 miles away from Espirito Santo in the state of Ceara the quarry for the famous quartzite Taj Mahal requires a six-hour flight and then a further five hours by car.
Taj Mahal Quarry
Countless other quarries are spread across this continent-sized country. Quarry Hunters need to keep alert for the colors and characteristics of the stone the market demands and which parts of the country can supply that stone.
Blue Roma – From The Valley – Ceara
Now that you know a bit more about the effort it takes to bring you these you can share it with your customers so that they can appreciate the unique journey of these raw materials from the ground to their kitchen. Every piece of natural stone is unique with millions of years of history to tell and adventure to be found!
Travel to Brazil with Brothers in Granite
If you’re interested in getting to know the quarries of Espirito Santo for yourself Brothers in Granite is proud to offer a “Travel to Brazil” program. As our guest we’ll show you some of the quarries mentioned above, in particular the marbles of Cachoeiro. We’ll show you our entire production process and let you select materials for your own business directly from the source. Best of all, since we are in Brazil, there is plenty of time to enjoy the sun and the beaches and to sample our local cuisine. This program is open year-round.
Current coronavirus precautions have restricted travel but we encourage you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin discussions about travel once the situation normalizes.
Read the article published in Stone World: