Brazil is the fourth largest producer and the fifth largest exporter in the world and features a wide variety of stones with great aesthetic and commercial value.
Among the main types of natural materials found in the country, granite, marble and quartzite stand out. The latter has become the most sought-after type of stone in the entire world and Brazil is its largest producer and supplier. According to the president of the Brazilian Center of Natural Stones Exporters (Centrorochas), Tales Machado, technological advancement has been contributing to this change. “Quartzite is now one of the most sought-after stones in the entire world.
This recent change is due to the advancement of the technology used in the industry, allowing for more uniform surfaces, with precise cuts and sophisticated finishes,” he explained.
The natural stone industry in Brazil goes beyond the greatest geodiversity and enormous numbers, it also features an exemplary approach to sustainability.
Thanks to its technological capacity and commitment to environmentally responsible practices, the country has been achieving a remarkable balance between stone production and environmental preservation.
Brazilian natural stones are the sustainable, exclusive and versatile option for all projects.
The CO2 emission rate of production in the industry is the lowest among other coverings for architectural projects. As it is a natural, unmanufactured product, the production process uses less energy than other products, since its use is only intended to enhance the beauty of the materials.
In addition, 95% of the water used in this process is reused.
Production waste is reused or sent to licensed deposits. In an unprecedented partnership, the Brazilian stone industry has been supplying marble powder as an input in the manufacture of iron ore of the mining company Samarco.
At the beginning of this year, the company began producing pellets with this product.
Currently, 30% of all pellets produced have marble by-products and, since approval, more than 21 thousand tons of the material have been purchased.
“This discovery has built up our strength to remain firm in our sustainable evolution projects.
By reusing the residues from the quarries and transforming them into valuable raw materials, we are closing the production cycle and promoting more efficient use of natural resources,” Machado completed when talking about the commitment to preserving the environment the segment made.
The next challenge for the sector is to regulate the use of FIBRO (Fine from the Processing of Natural Stones).
The term is the established denomination for the residues produced by the companies of the productive arrangement. The standardization will enable its use by the ceramics and cement industries, resulting in a win-win relationship, discarding waste sustainably and minimizing the use of natural resources in the production process of these segments, which will also benefit from the use of the by-product of natural stones.
“Regulation by the government is the only thing missing for this dream to come true and for this practice to be adopted throughout Brazil,” the president of Centrorochas concluded.
Numbers of the Brazilian stone industry:
- Greatest geological diversity in the world
- More than 1,200 varieties of materials
- 4th largest producer in the world
- 5th largest exporter in the world
- Main destinations of exports in 2022: 1st United States (58%); 2nd China (13%); 3rd Italy (8%); 4th Mexico (4%) and 5th Canada (8%).
- Brazil is the largest exporter of natural stones to the United States, accounting for 24.7% of the materials imported into the country
- 480 thousand direct and indirect jobs
(Source: Centrorochas - Brazilian Center of Natural Stones Exporters)