The aim of this publication is to give a general overview of issues related to dimension stone exploitation. It will assist those people wishing to enter the stone business to
gain a better understanding of the features of this sector at international level and of the steps necessary to develop a new project. For those already involved in the sector,
it will act as a reference guide.
The guide is divided in five parts. Part 1 gives a general background of the global stone market and the status of the sector in ACP countries. Part 2 presents an overview of the application of stone and the main terms and standards in use. In addition, some more in-depth data are given, as regards the geological approach to the study of deposits and the materials they contain. In fact, the analysis of the origin and evolution of rocks provides an explanation as to why stone materials are subject to a wide range of variations and, at the same time, helps to foresee such variations. In Part 3 follows an analysis of the main quarrying methods and technologies used. The phases necessary to develop a dimension stone project, from general survey to final feasibility are analysed in Part 4. Part 5 contains useful information for those wishing to become involved in this sector (references, list of laboratories for testing dimension stone and examples of cost estimates for marble and granite quarries).
The work covers a wide range of topics and obviously does not claim to be exhaustive on each one. The reader is welcome to comment upon the topics of interest so that these may be examined more closely in future works.