Venčac white marble

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Large deposits of Venčac marble can be found on Venčac mountain in the Šumadija region. It is characterized by high percentage of calcium, giving it pristine white colour. The high level of calcium it contains marks it as ideal for extraction in powder form and pebble to be used in construction, road building, animal feed, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

Name of Material in the local and Latin language
Mermer beli Venčac
Type of Material
Mineral
Commonly Found Locations
Northern Šumadija region, Serbia
Major Industrial Producers or Suppliers
Omya Venčac, Venčac AD, MIS Jovanović Mermer

Colour
White
Density
High density
Hardness
Firm structure, but less than Carrara marble or Calacatta marble due to the higher percentage of calcium.
Solubility
Water insoluble, but in the form of fine dust degradable in the human body.
Chemical Composition
Calcium carbonate with high percentage of calcium in its structure, and therefore with a high degree of whiteness and purity.

Industrial and Crafts Applications
Venčac marble is used for finishing construction elements, for road building and in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries due to the high percentage of calcium in its structure.
Historical or Cultural Uses
Historically, Venčac marble was excavated as a building and sculpting material, and in its quality and importance for the development of stone smithing traditions it carries the same significance as Brač marble in Croatia. These two extraordinarily white stones are said to have been used for panelling the White House (US). It can be claimed with certainty that Venčac was used for the construction of significant architectural objects such as the royal mausoleum of the Karađorđević dynasty on Oplenac in Serbia. Due to its proximity to Venčac mountain, the city of Aranđelovac became the stone-masoning centre of the country really early on. Following the end of WWII, and especially after the 1960s, Venčac marble became the central stone of the “Beli venčac” (White Venčac) Symposium of Sculpture, which has for decades been bringing together artists working in stone for residential stay. In this process, today’s Park of Sculptures in Bukovička Banja was former. Today, Venčac is no longer excavated as marble, but rather as a smaller-sized-stone material, as pebbles and powder.
Environmental Impact
The current method of extraction can have a potentially devastating impact on the environment, as the large deposit of marble is leading to unmindful extraction by stone detonation, causing significant sound pollution, deeply altering the geological landscape, and giving rise to potential changes in the seismic status of the area.

Extraction Methods
Venčac marble deposits in Northern Šumadija are used by several stone quarries. Historically, Venčac marble was excavated as a building and sculpting material, which entailed deeper digging of the deposit instead of detonating its surface. Today, as its main applicability has changed, the main extraction method is detonating the surface levels of the deposit.
Processing Techniques
Historically, it was processed by stone cutting and smithing techniques, which included polishing its surface. Today, it is cut and shredded into smaller elements such as pebbles and powder.
Sustainability and Environmental Considerations
The high percentage of calcium in its structure makes it a desirable material for pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, leading to unmindful and excessive extraction of the marble deposit.

Interesting Facts or Historical Anecdotes
Extraction of white Venčac marble changed due to the different usage of the material in contemporary times. Even though its current use may not be problematic, the processes of its mining and extraction most certainly are, as the regulations defining the mindful approach, which should manage environmental impact and even the quantity of extracted marble, are loosely outlined and breaching them often does not lead to proper consequences. In recent years, the excavation of Venčac marble and the operations of stone quarries have been subjected to public protests and criticism, as the mountain landscape is rapidly disappearing, and the air and sound pollution is high.
Regulations or Restrictions
National Strategy for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Assets of the Republic of Serbia
Supported by
  • Ministarstvo kulture