Your granite worktops have taken an incredible journey that has taken millions of years to complete. Time and pressure combined with a great deal of heat form the very bedrock of the pre-quarried stone, preserving it ready to be quarry millions of years later.
Initially landowners investigating their land notice the properties of the stone beneath them and decide to quarry. Starting to dig on a small scale to establish whether or not the stone has any value to the commercial market. The stone has to be pleasing to the eye as well as hardwearing for the quarry to be viable.
There are millions of different coloured granites and only a small amount are highly prized. There are also millions of different granites sitting beneath the ground waiting to be discovered.
Once a site has been found, the quarrying can take place. Large machines are brought in to drill and cut the stone into large blocks to enable the stone to be moved from the quarry face. The large blocks of quarried granite are high in value, although only around ten percent possess the characteristics required for granite worktop production. The remaining ninety percent are used for other applications such as the production of granite tiles.
Although every country in the world has granite deposits, the major granite producers are India, China, Africa, Brazil, and Scandinavia. These countries have good deposits of very popular materials and account for the majority of granite exported around the world. India, China, and Brazil account for the majority of the extraction of rough block material, being cut and polished to produce a workable piece or scant.
Granite mines range greatly in size, some colours can only be mined in a small two acre location, other mines span an area over two miles wide. Because colour can vary from one area or depth of the mine to another, colour matching is an important part of the granite mining process.
All of the above countries containerize the granite and send it to port where it is shipped to many destinations across the world.
Once in the UK, the slabs pass through customs and are transported by rail to destinations throughout the country. The last leg of the journey is by lorry, where they arrive at granite companies and are off loaded ready to be cut to size and installed in thousands of British households every day.