Waste marble mountains diminish with Lokotracks

(Web Magazine 2007)
Marble producers face new environmental challenges caused by continuously growing mountains of waste marble at quarry sites. The biggest producer of the world famous Rosa Portugal marble, Marmetal S.A., recently began to recycle its waste marble mountains using the new generation Lokotrack mobile crushing and screening equipment.

Marmetal – Mármores e Materiais de Construcao S.A. – belongs to the OPCA Group, and operates four quarries at Borba and Viana do Alentejo, located near the highway connecting Lisbon and Madrid in Portugal. The quarries’ yearly production comprises 60 000-70 000 cubic meters, of which around 3 000 cubic meters are sold as blocks while 3 000 - 4 000 square meters of marble claddings and slabs are manufactured and sold by an affiliated company Margrimar S.A.

At the Borba quarry, extracting of marble reaches the depth of 100 meters.

"Today, environmental aspects are becoming more and more important to us, and new regulations issued by the European Union must be met. Therefore, as one of the first marble producers in Portugal to do so, we have decided to start solving the waste marble challenge ourselves," explains Mr José A.R. Delgado, Managing Director of Marmetal S.A.

Several applications for recycled marble

According to Mr Delgado, there are several applications for recycled marble, such as filler material for industrial use, cosmetics industry applications, fertilizer for agriculture, road layer-works, concrete aggregate and landscaping material.

"Our objective is to create an environmentally friendly recycling process and make a profitable business out of it. We foresee a good market in the Extremadura region in Spain, where we will sell 30-40% of the recycled materials. In addition, the new high-speed train track between Madrid and Lisbon requires high quantities of the sort of aggregates that we can produce from the waste marble," Mr Delgado explains.

A mobile Lokotrack fleet consists of LT1415S impactor plant equipped with
a detachable screen, and a ST620 mobile screen.

Also tourism and the related construction projects are growing in the Alentejo region. The biggest inland lake in Portugal, Alqueva, and the famous historical city of Évora are just 40 kilometers away.

Modern mobile crushing and screening process

The crushing and screening process for marble is built around the modern, mobile Lokotrack equipment: the new generation LT1415S impactor plant, equipped with a detachable screen module and an ST620 mobile screen. Mobile equipment was chosen to ensure easy movement between the quarries.

The end products are 0-4 mm, 4-12 mm, 12-20 mm and 20-40 mm, and sometimes even 0-31.5 mm for road base material.

Capacity up to 300 tons per hour

During its first six months in operation, the mobile process has achieved an average capacity of around 200 tons per hour. When fine-tuned, José Delgado believes that a 300tph capacity can be reached.

Mr José A.R. Delgado, Managing Director of Marmetal S.A., shows a pile
of crushed and screened, 0-20 mm sized marble.

"During the initial months, we have processed over 150 000 tonnes of waste marble, and plan the annual production of over 300 000 tonnes. We are happy with the availability and capacity of the equipment, and achieve very nicely shaped end products with the impact crusher," José Delgado comments.

"We are confident that, little by little, the existing waste marble mountain will disappear, thanks to the Lokotrack fleet," Mr Delgado adds.

For more information, please contact Eero Hämäläinen.

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