As a farmer in 1963, the company’s founder,
Marcel Berthe found that his land in the Herbeton countryside was especially
plow and hard enough to even break his farming tools. Following a professional
analysis of the farmland, he learned that the type of stone found underneath
his soil was widely used in various industrial applications.
One day, he decided to have one of these stones analyzed, and it turned out that his farm was located on a marble deposit.
Marcel Berthe decided to launch a new business mining a marble quarry, and obtained a permit to exploit on March 22, 1962.
With the help of his wife and a handful of workers, he set out in search of the crushing equipment necessary to treat the cleaving surplus, and began the extraction of the marble.
By 1964, his new business was well established, and Marcel Berthe’s private operation became the “Herbeton Quarry".
There remain some magnificent souvenirs of these early marble mining days such as the tiling in the conference room, in the quarry’s buildings and the altar of Saint Gangulphe’s cathedral in Florennes. With the arrival of Italian marbles on the market and the many risks which this type of operation entailed, Marcel Berthe decided early on to find other outlets for his stone.
Local steel makers manifested great interest in Berthe’s stone because they were of a very high quality. However, the production capacity and equipment at the time were quite limited.
At that point, Marcel Berthe undertook the construction of a new crushing
chain, operational since 1971 and which can be seen operating at the
site along Corenne Road in Florennes even to this day.
We currently supply all the sugar refineries in Belgium, Holland and the northern France.
Shortly afterwards, we discovered the steelworks and glassworks markets.
Our current production is approximately 500.000
tons per year.
The stones then crushed until they are reduced to 0/300 gage, and thus they can constitute the feed for the stockpile.
They are fed into a tunnel under the stockpile and pass through various jigger screens. We thereby obtain the three gages used in sugar refineries: 90/150, 90/130 and 60/90.
Stones of lower gage are reprocessed by crushing into limestone, i.e., a stone with a gage from 0 to 3 mm and used mainly in steel works.
Out of our concern for the environment and to preserve
a good relations with local residents, all of the company’s new
equipment is located in the bottom of the quarry, as to reduce the
levels of noise and dust.