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Stone Sector

The ornamental stone sector accounts for 1% of the material extracted from all Walloon quarries. Its turnover nevertheless represents about a hundred million euro. The number of direct jobs in this ornamental stone sector may be estimated at a thousand or so.

The stones represented within the non-profit-making organisation can be classified into two main categories:

Limestone

Belgian Blue Limestone, also called Petit Granit, is the best known of Wallonia’s stones. It is extracted by ten or so quarries and is characterised by the presence of small fossils called crinoids. The different finishes that it allows means that it perfectly suited for indoor and outdoor applications. 

The Meuse river valley has always been a privileged quarrying area for ornamental rock and, at the present time, two Meuse limestone quarries are still in operation. Those are the Vinalmont and Longpré quarries. 

Tournai Stone was used in prestigious buildings such as Tournai Cathedral.

Golzinne black marble has always been much sought-after on account of its purity and its unique character, while the brightly-patterned aspect and chromatic scale of red and grey marbles appealed to tonal awareness.

Among light-coloured limestone varieties, Gobertange sandy limestone and Fontenoille sandy limestone are the stones coming closest to French ornamental stone.

Siliceous stones

If it is frequently used for cobblestones or floor covering on account of its non-skid qualities, Condroz sandstone is nonetheless the benchmark material in traditional housing in our region.

Arkose combines great hardness and a great diversity of varied colours, in a pastel (pink, grey, etc) or stronger-coloured (brown, etc) range.

Quartzite is, with some exceptions, intended for outdoor applications. The quartz grains bound by silicon dioxide mean that it is an extremely resistant stone.

Schistose sandstone is a typical stone of the Ardennes and the Malmédy area and its appearance varies according to its own composition and its palette of shades range from grey and bluish-grey to brown and rust.

Schist can be used outdoors for masonry work and especially for garden and landscape applications but also provides floor products. Sawn elements are also used for indoor purposes and are available in different finishes.