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Quarry work

Etna lava stone production in our quarry

The production cycle of Etna lava stone, starts with the extraction process from our quarry at Camporotondo Etneo (extraction for ornamental use), and with the production of commercial blocks which satisfy certain volumetric, dimension and aesthetic requirements. The block can be obtained from large rock portions, called “bancata” (banks), possessing the precise conformation and aspect of the basalt (lava) flow. In the past, the basalt was extracted by simple methods which were not very mechanized; today, at our Camporotondo Etneo quarry, thanks to the use of a modern Komatsu excavator equipped with anti-particulate filter which prevents toxic emissions from entering into the atmosphere, extraction is done by the “Cascata” method which consists of causing a portion of the basalt flow to break away by excavating the (Rifusa) substratum layer below it. Afterwards, a large excavator works behind the upper edge to enable the block to break away. A “cushion” of recycled rubber and gravel is created to soften the fall of the lava blocks. In the initial stage, these are large shapeless blocks which are then positioned by the help of the Komatsu excavator so that they can then be squared off manually or by diamond saw. The heart of the system is four “Stationary” diamond saws which complete the squaring off of the blocks. Our Lava Stone is then further transformed into semi-worked and fully-worked blocks in our Giarre plants, final work being done depending on the various uses that the lava stone is required for.