Spanish stone industry is based on marble, slate, and granite productions and most of the activities are located in the vicinity of extraction zones. Marble elaboration and transformation activities are done in marble extraction regions.
According to Cajamar Research Institute in one of its reports in 2003, Spain is the second marble largest producer worldwide, the main quarries are in Spanish southeaster, specifically in Almeria (Macael), Alicante (Pinoso, Monforte del Cid and Novelda) and Murcia (Caravaca and Cehegín). This report affirms that in 2001 marble extraction got 85% of the national total in these three provinces and Macael area was the largest marble producer with more than 2.2 million marble tons, so this fact represented 42% of Spanish marble. However, we must say that the crisis has created a big impact in the marble industry and the numbers have dropped significantly, but the good new is that marble exports are increased. According to Almeria.es in 2012 marble exports raised 12% and they stood at 148 million euro. So, these figures show us that opposite to the bad situation that the country is facing, the opportunity today in the marble industry is to diversify the international market in the countries that have a huge demand for marble such as the United States, Russia, Persian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. This fact requires a high specialization in the 120 companies located in the Almanzora and its 3,250 employees and also maximize their high knowledge in the marble transformation and development, as well as their experience.
The opportunity in the marble industry
In other words, the great opportunity in the marble industry is to develop and prepare professionals who will make the difference due to their career, knowledge, experience, passion, professionalism and preparation, in order to exploit all the natural beauty of this stone and make this area a competitive industry. Also, we have to keep in mind that even though there are plenty of high-tech machinery that facilitates marble transformation and development, they do not have taste, or touch, or sight, so it is necessary to have a good expert.
Another opportunity that this industry has in order to become competitive is the marble handicraft industry, because each piece that is made is unique, because each person gives a personal touch, taste, feeling and tenderness. In addition, there is a bonus that all professional has when a piece is finished and is the feeling of being satisfied and happy to have created something that will spend years and centuries to dazzle. These are the reasons why the preparation and development in the marble industry and in the marble handicraft industry are so important for me, because if you work with love and professionalism you will create art and beauty. We have examples of large marble constructions, with large dimensions, shapes and colors, they were made centuries ago and they are still being priceless artworks. So I invite everybody who is working in this beautiful profession to empower and prepare increasingly more professionals and experts to keep creating art in this important industry.
In Central America marble demand is based on sells of large quantities in meters of flooring. In Russia, the main market is luxury homes and any other intervention and the marble demand in the Gulf countries are usually luxury hotels and homes.