Images of Queen Elizabeth II’s tomb were unveiled this weekend. And the black marble that composes it comes from a Belgian quarry located in Golzinne, in the province of Namur. A unique stone already used in many prestigious buildings around the world.
A cutting machine slices the black marble several tens of meters underground. This is where the black marble for the Queen’s tombstone comes from. It is one of the last underground quarries in the country.
“Here for the moment, we have extracted roughly the equivalent of 4 hectares in the deposit and the company has around a hundred hectares underground, undergroundexplains Guillaume Orban, mining engineer at the Golzinne quarry. So, should be stone to my pension certainly”.
Gembloutoise rock purchased by an English client, then polished and installed in the chapel of Windsor Castle. Quarry managers confide in their pride: “The stone was bought from us. They bought raw stone and worked it their own way. They polished it and put the inscriptions on it as requested by the end customer”adds Guillaume Orban.
This Walloon black marble, a luxury ornamental stone, is also found on the floor of Westminster Abbey and in other buildings around the world. “It’s a very black stone, with a very very fine grain and which has the particularity of giving the impression of being slightly translucent. And so, you can see through the material, and that’s quite sought after”further specifies the engineer.
Site managers ensure that this quarry is the only one in the world to offer black marble of such quality. Workers extract about 200 cubic meters per year.