For many years now the world of stone has been seeing Vietnamese companies exhibiting in trade shows, and in ever growing numbers. Among the different stones being commercialised in the international markets one stands out- the white marble. This article explores the world of Vietnamese white marble.
There are basically two geographical areas where the white marble is extracted- in the area of Luc Yen in the province of Yen Bai, and in Quy Hop in the southern province of Nghe An. The factories for processing are also located there.
Luc Yen quarry
The geographical formations of the quarry are old. In fact sometimes rubies are found incrustated in the stones The material sometimes can be extemely white in colour, comparable to the Sivec from Macedonia. In a large number of cases the white marble is crystalline and the size of the crystals tends to vary, they can be big and translucent.
White marble from Vietnam medium grain - Photo. Grupo MOS
The polish obtained tends to be of very high quality and this is the most popular finish in the market. Sometimes the aged finish is also done. Bush hammered, sand blasted and honed finishes are also being done by Vietnamese companies.
The factories for processing stone in the north of the country (Yen Bai) are more export oriented and, as of April 2020, there are five big factories processing slabs and there are several other smaller units.
In Nghe An province the factories tend to be of smaller size and are more specialised in cut to size. The blocks processed by the factories tend to be small size because of the extraction methods used by the Vietnamese in mining stone. The big size blocks (300×150x100 cm) are also available, but in relatively small quantities.
One curious element in the Vietnamese stone industry is the significant presence of foreign investors, especially from India. For example, the RK Marble group, Alliance Minerals, Arihant Marble and Dron group, all have invested in quarries and factories in Vietnam. Bau Lai Group is a big local company present in the industry.
Names of materials
As is usually the case in the natural stone industry, the different varieties of white marble from Vietnam have been given all kind of names by different companies. The differentiating element is mostly the size of the grains.
One of the more popular names is Snow White. Galaxy White is another well known name. The materials from the South tend to have names such as Crystal white, and Wood White (because of the brown veins).
The main application of the white marble of Vietnam is in projects. It is also used in decoration.
Vietnamese white marble has now been present in the international markets for many years. The main markets are China for blocks and India for blocks and slabs. Little known to the outside world, one of the biggest markets for Vietnamese white marble is Turkmenistan, where the Vietnamese companies directly supply the stone for projects. In the local market the white marble is used in big quantities for making sculptures.
Note: Our thanks to Javier González (Formostone) and Jeffrey Matthews( Trade Int'l) for the information provided.