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Purple slate in America

Tim and Bob - our slate specialist correspondents in the USA - explain us why the VT Sea Green/ Semi Weathering Grey Green is in Short Supply.

As a consequence of high demand and limited availability VT Sea Green a/k/a Semi Weathering Grey Green is getting harder to find.

Semi Weathering Sea Green slate

Once the mainstay of the VT Slate Industry, in the early 20th century nearly 400,000 squares were produced annually in the halcyon days, now numbers are less then one quarter of that.

Many of the quarries are struggling with high energy costs, increased labor rates, regressive regulatory oversight driven by self funding agencies and the other increasing costs of production.

When one considers that approximately 95% and more, of the stone extracted is waste, the high cost of removal of overburden and the attendant expense of trucking this rubbish, as it is called in the industry, it is not surprising that many quarries have taken to "side casting".  This is where the rubbish (the un-usable rock) is cast to the side within the quarry pit rather then removed, trucked, from the pit, as it should be.  This is very much the proverbially, robbing Peter to pay Paul, the expediency of needing mill stock today to make slate and cover "this week's" expenses at the cost of not removing the waste from the production area of the quarry is a clear first step down the slippery slope of creating a non producing quarry- one where it costs more to produce slate then  the slate is worth, an economically un-feasible business.

Source : Tim & Bob, our slate specialist correspondents in USA - 7/01/2015


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