A North Queensland rural town once known for nickel mining has begun exporting high quality marble to Italy from the Port of Townsville.
Located 55 kilometres from Greenvale and 300 kilometres north-west of Townsville, the 200 million cubic metre deposit is one of the largest in the world and owned by Australian family business, Queensland Granite and Marble Pty Ltd.
Situated on a grazing property, it’s one of only three marble quarries in Queensland, and one of a few in Australia.
Queensland Granite and Marble director (sales) Larry Roccisano said eight different colours of marble had been discovered at the site, including white marble.
“White marble is the most popular marble in the world, and the deposits we’ve found here are second to none in Australia and up there with the best of Italy,” said Mr Roccisano.
“An independent Italian marble laboratory in Verona has tested and analysed our samples and given our product the highest rating possible in terms of hardness and strength.”
“We currently employ 12 people from Greenvale, Townsville and Charters Towers to do this work, and we expect to increase this to approximately 40 people by the end of next year,” he said.
“All our employees have benefited from training by Italian marble masters who visited the site to share their skills over a period of months.”
Port of Townsville Acting Chief Executive Officer Claudia Brumme-Smith visited the marble site during November to view the operation first hand.
“It’s fantastic to see an exciting new venture created in our region, knowing this stunning natural material will feature in homes and buildings on the other side of the world,” said Ms Brumme-Smith.
“Using Swire Shipping, ANL and Northern Stevedoring Services, the company has so far made a number of shipments of raw marble blocks each weighing 20 tonnes out of the Port of Townsville to Italy, China and Indonesia,” she said.