Slate is a sedimentary succession, laid down in a marine environment 2250 million years ago. This succession compacted to become shale. 1900 Million years ago, volcanic eruptions in the surrounding area caused lava to spill over the shale. Different minerals (iron, manganese, chrome, copper etc.), “burnt” (oxidized) into the slate layers to cause the most beautiful and unique colour combinations.
Each layer of slate has its own unique colour and texture.
These slate layers are excavated with a pinch bar, chisel and hammer. Each piece of raw material are carefully checked and inspected to ensure that it has a usable (undamaged) surface.
Indigenous people (mainly Setswana) are trained as quarrymen (to excavate the slate) and factory workers (to check quality, cut and process raw slate into final products).
Our labourers are the backbone of the company (excavating, quality checking, cutting and processing). Most labourers start unskilled or with little school education are then trained to perform different functions.
At least 40 labourers are constantly employed.
One of these trainees (Martiens Tsetse) was appointed manager last year, after 13 years of training.
Only high quality raw material is cut to tiles, hand selected for thickness. Smooth and rough surfaces are separated by hand and loose chips are removed through a hand split process.
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A hit at the back of slate with a hammer to check density.
Only high quality raw material is cut to tiles.
Hand selected for thickness while smooth and rough surfaces are separated.
Loose chips are removed through a hand split process.
Hand selected for thickness while smooth and rough surfaces are separated. Loose chips are removed through a hand split process.
Cleaning the tiles.
Final product ready for shipping.