Vitória Stone Fair – NEW DATES

Novas datas para a Feira de Vitória – 6 a 9 de Junho 2017

News release just received:

Vitoria Stone Fair | Marmo+mac Latin America 2017 will take place from 6 – 9 June 2017, in Espirito Santo – Brazil. The event is considered the largest stone exhibition in Latin America and the most objective, economical and efficient way to develop business in Brazil, Latin America and the global stone sector.
The fair brings together an exuberant showcase, with several types of materials with colors and unique textures. Also, novelties in machinery, equipment and stone accessories for the industry. The event attracts buyers from all continents, from importers to exporters, looking for machinery, accessories and services.

Vitória Stone Fair website


Feira de Vitória cancelada; Vitoria Stone Fair cancelled

A feira de Vitória, uma das mais importantes feiras de pedra natural no mundo, certamente a mais importante no continente sul-americano, tem sua edição deste ano cancelada devido à situação de insegurança vivida no Estado do Espírito Santo, Brasil.

The Vitoria Stone Fair, one of the key natural stone fairs in the international calendar has been cancelled due to the current insecurity situation in Espirito Santo (Brazil). This situation arose due to a police force strike.

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


Guanambi (Bahia, BRAZIL): granite and cacti land


Thirteen years ago I travelled into Bahia’s (Brazil) hinterland to evaluate ornamental granite deposits. It was a very short stay (36 hours counting the flights to and from Lisbon).
In following years, I travelled by land to the region (either en route to Chapada Diamantina or as a final destination) but the first impressions of granite massifs and cacti are still vivid (photos here).
It’s a poor region with a beautiful arid nature and warm people. Visit if you can; if not, you may read Jorge Amado’s works (my favourite Brazilian author). Doing both is even better.

If you ever travel there, don’t miss Salvador life and cultural heritage and Bahia’s beaches. Carpe diem.

The Portuguese mineral industry – update

Portugal has a long tradition in the mining industry (in our European heartland and, during our long and rich History, in other territories in South America, Africa, Asia). Romans mined (gold and other metals, natural stone) in what is now the Portuguese territory and before them the Celts and Phoenicians.

The  Portuguese mining industry is now built around three main pillars:

  1. The natural stone sector (with hundreds of active marble, granite and limestone quarries and high quality manufacturing centers – we are the largest per capita natural stone exporter: market research here).
  2. The metals (especially Au and W – in the country’s north and center – and Cu-Zn in VMS Iberian Pyrite Belt – in the south).
  3. Industrial rocks and minerals (kaolinite, felspar, aggregates, etc.).

There are several active exploration – evaluation projects (base metals, gold, tungsten) in the country and high potential for lithium and other mineral commodities. To know more about our mineral industry, just read Mineral Resources of Portugal, the latest official statistical information or, better still, contact us at

Portuguese infrastructure is first-class and where else do you find warmer people and weather and better food and wine?

Going to PDAC – meet and talk

A last minute decision – I am traveling to Toronto to attend PDAC 2016.

It’s the perfect place to meet and talk: Angola, Mozambique, Brazil and Portugal, diamond and other gems, Nb-Ta and other pegmatite minerals, tungsten, gold, ferrous and base metal deposits, industrial minerals, natural stone. Challenges and opportunities.

Where and when can we meet?



AZUL – Blue-gray ornamental limestone varieties from Portugal

Blu & Bug Lime 09a
Beautiful block of Vidraço Ataíja Azul limestone (under the Portuguese unique blue sky).
There are several current varieties of grayish/blue limestone, all from the same general region of Portugal: the Mira de Aire and Candeeiros Range in the West of Portugal (the Azul Cascais limestone reserves nearby Lisbon are virtually depleted or inaccessible due to urban sprawl). Those varieties are:
  • Vidraço Ataíja Azul: Very hard compact limestone, finely calciclastic, occasionally with some stylolites and calcite veins. The Vidraço de Ataíja Azul limestone occurs associated with the Vidraço de Ataíja Creme (note bellow). It is not easy to find big blocks of this variety but it is an ornamental stone of  very good quality.
  • Moleanos Azul: Hard limestone with a slight greyish tonality, bioclastic, with oölitic tendency, abundantly spathized and showing disperse brownish nodules or fine spots occasionally with some thin calcite veins. The blocks extracted are of large size and the cutting of slabs is usually performed according to the bedding plane. This limestone occurs associated with the Moleanos Beije (again, note bellow). It´s normal to find invisible small cracks (popped). Very consistent ornamental stone.
  • Moca Creme Azul: Greyish/Beige limestone, coarsely calciclastic and abundantly bioclastic. The blocks extracted are of large size and the cutting of slabs is usually performed perpendicular to the bedding plane. Very consistent ornamental stone.
  • Azul Valverde: Bluish-grey limestone with disperse small stains of lighter tonality and coarse elements, calciclastic and little bioclastic. The extracted blocks are, usually, of large dimensions. Their sawing is performed according to the bedding plane. Some variation in color and texture is expected.

There is also a notable grey marble variety – Trigaches  – used at least since Roman times in the Iberian Peninsula, found in the South of Portugal (Alentejo, the land of famous marble, red wines, wide plains and friendly people – but that’s for another article). In the north and center of the country, there are also interesting grey ornamental granites (ye, you guesses, yet another post).

Blue-gray limestones are usually associated with crème (beige) varieties of the same stone with mixed color (malhado) blocks in the transition zone (crème limestone on top of the blue, the former due to water leaching of the latter).

A few days ago we went scouting for blue-gray limestone for a potential client. We have created a photo gallery with some of the quarries and blue (Azul) limestone varieties we found – if you are curious check it here or drop us a mail through our contacts.

Luís Chambel and Luís Caeatno

A new beautiful fossiliferous limestone from Portugal

In the rough - the Pedra do Bicho variety in the center west of Portugal
In the rough – the Pedra do Bicho variety in the center west of Portugal
While looking for bluish-gray (or grayish-blue) limestone – a request from a potential client, we were shown a new variety of fossiliferous ornamental limestone. It’s a beautiful stone, its mining just starting. Additional photos of in the rough and sawn exposed outcrops and polished sample slabs of this new variety – dedicated small photo gallery here. Just drop us a line if you are curious about this stone – our contact here.
Numa viagem de pesquisa de fornecedores de blocos de calcário azul (cinzento) – pedido de um cliente, mostraram-nos uma nova variedade de calcário fossilífero ornamental. É uma pedra bonita, tendo a extração experimental apenas começado. Podem ser vistas outras fotografias – dos afloramentos, de rocha serrada e de amostras polidas – nesta pequena galeria de fotos.

Portuguese marble: color and textural variation

Mármores Portugal - gama cromática e textural

Marble is a natural stone type extracted, processed and used in monuments, buildings and pavements in Portugal for millennia. Portuguese marble is used all over the world; in Portugal, at least since Roman times. Small samples (and photos) hardly capture the full variation range of color and texture of natural stones. Even so, the picture above tries to depict some of the Portuguese marble’s beauty (I must confess my favourite is Verde Viana’s marble). The image was (laboriously) created from individual smaller photos.

Hope you enjoy.

Want to know more about Portuguese marble? Drop us a line (contact form).