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Volvo finds a Pearl in the rough

First publishedin Aggregates Business International
July August 2015
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Volvo CE L350F-Series wheeled loader
Volvo CE machines help India's Pearl Mineral and Mines extract granite
India’s Pearl Mineral and Mines extracts 1,500m³ of granite/year with over half of its produce sold overseas.

Granite, the second hardest natural rock after diamond, owes its hardness and density to the fact that it has solidified deep inside the earth under extreme pressure.

Over time, shifts in the planet’s crust forces veins of granite to the surface, where commercial uses are found for it.

Pearl Mineral and Mines is one of the top producers and exporters of Indian granite. Located on India’s south-eastern coast, the company’s two Black Galaxy granite quarries are spread over 15 hectares of land at Chimakurthy and Andhra Pradesh, with a production capacity of 7,200m³/year, ranging from giant blocks to tiny chips.

The Green Pearl granite quarry is spread over two hectares at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh with a production capacity of 2,400m³/year, also ranging in sizes.

As the name suggests, Black Galaxy granite has a shiny black finish and Green Pearl varies in darkness with a turquoise and speckled grey tint.

The granite mined from the quarries is then processed at Pearl’s state-of-the-art factory, with its own cutting and processing unit, which has the capacity to produce more than 450,000m² of finished stone a year.

Exports have increased significantly over the years, as Pearl continues to send Indian granite to its client base in China, Singapore, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Ireland, Romania, UAE, Australia and the USA.

The company’s mines have been in operation since 1993 and Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) machines are used for quarrying, loading and transporting granite rock around Pearl’s job sites.  

Pearl’s fleet of 15 Volvo machines includes six EC360BLC excavators, eight EC380DL excavators and one L350F-Series wheeled loader.
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Volvo L350F-Series wheeled loader
Pearl's fleet of 15 Volvo machines includes one L350F-Series wheeled loader
“The bigger the machine is, the more we depend on it,” says Mr. Venkata Nagaraja, managing director at Pearl Mineral.

“In fact, a big loader like the L350F is like a factory on wheels, where revenue far outweighs the cost. The L350F wheeled loader is fast, smooth, stable and lifts almost anything at the mine. It’s a durable loader that handles the toughest jobs and it’s a lot more fuel-efficient than other brands of machines in its class.”

The L350F wheeled loader is powered by a Tier 3/Stage III Volvo 394kW turbo diesel engine offering fuel economy, high productivity, reliability and low levels of noise and exhaust emissions.

Combined with its engine, strong hydraulics, a Volvo transmission with lock-up and Volvo-designed and manufactured axles, the L350F is easy and comfortable to operate, leading to fast cycle times and sustained high performance throughout the working day, says Volvo CE.

The operator can enjoy the spacious air-conditioned cab that is insulated from noise, dust and vibrations due to viscous cab mounts and the suspended seat.  

Volvo’s excavators also play a pivotal role at the mine. “Power, speed and fuel efficiency, as well as aftermarket support is how I would define the EC380DL and EC360BLC machines,” says Nagaraja.

“With the help of Volvo CE, top quality Black Galaxy granite is being exported all over the world. Working with Vijay Engineering Equipment, Volvo CE’s local dealer, means we are working with like-minded people. It’s proactive, has genuine Volvo Parts and ample stock to make our lives easier.”

Both companies are also passionate about safety and Pearl has received numerous awards for its contribution to the Indian export sector and mining industry.

It has also supplied granite to numerous prestigious projects around the world, such as Singapore’s Changi airport’ Hong Kong’s Clark’s Airport Hotel and the Lotte department store in South Korea.

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