The Portuguese Natural Stone industry

A short updated summary

Portugal is an old and important natural stone producer and exporter – 380 M USD in 2015 (roughly over 70% of it as finished products) being, on a per capita basis, the largest world exporter. The country’s stone exports have a high added value, its average price being one of (if not) the largest in the world.

The Portuguese natural stone production is diversified, ranging from marble and limestone quarried in the South and Centre of the country to granites in the Centre and North of Portugal. The country also has an important stone manufacturing base, with factories located near Lisbon (Pero Pinheiro) and in the main quarrying centres. The country is also a manufacturer of specialized equipment and machinery for the stone industry.

The natural stone industry is fragmented, being composed mostly of family owned businesses.

All these factors (abundant, diversified sources, widespread know-how, relatively low capital intensive) contributed along millennia to a stone culture in the country – Portugal has the largest concentration of pre-historic stone monuments in Europe and natural stone is used in virtually every single house in Portugal.

The country is well placed to be a trade platform between Europe, Africa and the Americas (with all of which Portugal has important historical, cultural and economic ties), with good transport infrastructure (notably the Sines deep water harbour and an excellent road network) and competitive specialized manpower.

You may download this in pdf format (and tables) from here The Portuguese Natural Stone industry – a short summary. You may also read more herehere and elsewhere in this blog (just use the search tool, here). For more detailed information drop me a line at


In Maputo (Mozambique) next week

I will be in Maputo (Mozambique) next week (Monday to Wednesday, the 4th to the 6th April), focused on the country’s mineral industry. It’s a short stay and, unfortunately, limited to Maputo but it’s an opportunity to meet an talk about exploration and mining projects and opportunities (especially about, but not limited to, gems and diamonds, tantalite and other pegmatite deposits). Drop me a line to to set up a meeting.

Num retorno há muito desejado, estarei em Maputo (Moçambique) na próxima semana (segunda a quarta, 4 a 6 de Abril), focado na indústria mineira do País. É uma estadia muito curta e, infelizmente limitada a Maputo, mas é uma oportunidade para falar sobre projectos e oportunidades no de prospecção e mineração (especialmente em, mas não limitadas a, gemas e diamantes, tantalite e outros jazigos pegmatíticos). Contacte-me através do meu email para combinarmos uma reunião:

Boston Consulting Group on Exploration and Mining (current affairs and future trends)

Yes, these are hard times (although I just started a new consulting project today and will likely add another in the next week or so) but it’s time we leave the gloom and doom talking and start thinking (and acting) on ways to improve.
I always like to pick ideas from well thought, well structured texts. I have just come across some recent (2015) BCG publications ( on the current state of affairs in Exploration and Mining:

A couple of other interesting documents are not available in pdf format but you can read them at:

Thanks to BCG for publishing these reports.


The Diamond Insight Report 2015 has just been released by De Beers, with a positive starting note.

Do you agree? In its Foreword, the report starts by saying that:

The launch of The Diamond Insight Report 2014 opened up the diamond industry to a wider audience and identified trends and opportunities for the industry to fulfil its growth potential.

One of the areas highlighted in last year’s report was how the diamond sector is influenced by seasonal demand patterns and industry cycles. And, to some extent, this effect can be seen when comparing performance in 2014 with what we have seen so far in 2015.

Strong consumer sales of diamond jewellery over the end of year holiday season in 2013 led to strong pipeline restocking demand at the start of 2014 and the positive demand environment continued through most of the year.

Consumer demand reached a record high, rough diamond demand was strong and this set the industry up for a positive year.

The report is full of information, well written and designed. It’s always worth reading.


Released a few days ago, you may obtain the latest perspective of De Beers’ on the diamond industry: de-beers-insight-report-2014. As usual, a well written, graphically appealing, must-read report containing De Beers’ published views and expectations about the diamond industry.