Marble is a natural mineral primarily composed of carbonates such as calcite and dolomite. It is a metamorphic rock, which is usually white in color. However, rarely, marble can have pigmentation anywhere between yellow and red color due to the presence of impurities such as iron oxide, bitumen, and clay minerals. Marble is often used for decorative purposes due its bright white color and lustrous finish. The stone has been used for centuries to create landmark buildings such as the Taj Mahal, Parthenon, and U.S. Supreme Court Building, along with several renowned cathedrals, churches, and tombs across the world. The stone is usually obtained by open pit mining and quarrying in various marble deposits across the globe. Marble has low susceptibility to water damage, but may deteriorate in acidic atmosphere.
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Demand for marble is rising in the construction industry due to its esthetics such as beauty and sculpture. Rapid growth in the construction industry in several developing regions across the world is likely to propel the demand for marble in the near future. Marble not only serves the decorative purpose, but is also functionally used as filler for concrete aggregate, stairs, pavements, floor coverings, and external walls in the construction industry. Marble is often associated with luxury and extravagance; hence, it is employed for decoration purposes in various lavish buildings and monuments such as hotels, theatres, temples, churches, memorial buildings, and tombs. This is anticipated to fuel the demand for marble in the near future. Use of marble is not limited to construction and architectural applications. Marble is also used in ground form as calcium supplement to farm animals; soft abrasive material for grinding application; manufacture of antacid and acid-neutralizer; and also as soil enhancer. These applications are projected to propel the demand for marble during the forecast period.
Based on application, the global marble market can be segmented into construction, architecture, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and others. Construction is the major consumer of marble; the stone is used in applications such as laying pavements, stairs, kitchen platforms, flooring, sculpture, and external walls. Furthermore, ground form is added to the concrete mixture as filler agent. The others segment consists of applications wherein marble powder is used such as paints and coatings. Marble powder is also used in some plastics and rubbers to increase density and weight of the final product. Based on form, the marble market can be segregated into slabs and powders. Marble slab is the widely used form. These slabs are then shaped and molded into tiles and blocks for suitable applications. On the other hand, powder is directly employed in applications such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and abrasives. In terms of color, the marble market can be segmented into white and others (yellow, pink, and gray). White marble is the purest form and is also the most widely used marble in the world. Based on type, the marble market can be segmented into natural and synthetic. Natural marble is obtained from quarries and open pit mines; however, synthetic marble is cultured stone made by mixing stone particles and resins together.
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In terms of geography, the marble market can be segregated into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Europe is one of the key producers of pure marble in the world. Countries such as Italy, Spain, and Greece are among the major producers of natural marble in Europe. Jordan is among the prominent producers in Middle East & Africa. Based on consumption, North America and Europe are the prime markets globally. In terms of consumption, the market in Asia Pacific is also anticipated to expand during the forecast period.
Prominent players operating in the global marble market are Jiangxi Rare Earth Corp., Molycorp Inc., EUROPEAN MARBLE COMPANY INC., HELLENIC GRANITE Co, Fox Marble, European Marble Centre, Santucci Group S.r.l., The Marble Factory Ltd., Milestone Marble & Granite LTD., Marble Trend, and Hilltop Granites.