In its first full year of operation, Togo's marble processing factory on the outskirts of Lome has produced 30,000 tons of processed marble - 5,000 tons more than the target expected when President Etienne Eyadema officially opened the works in April, 1970.
GV EXT. Factory PAN TO yard
SV PAN Crane lifting slab of marble
GV Marble stored in shed
SV & CV Circular saw cutting marble (3 shots)
SV & CV Man operates polishing machine
SV & CV Man grinding circular marble slabs
SV Assortment of circular slabs against wall
SV & CV Operator turns marble on lathe (2 shots)
SV Man examining marble ash-tray
SV & CV Man operates engraving machine
SV Man hand-polishing marble slab
SV & CV Man making chess board from small square of marble
SV Two men assembling tombstone
Initials SGM/1257 SGM/1316
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Background: In its first full year of operation, Togo's marble processing factory on the outskirts of Lome has produced 30,000 tons of processed marble - 5,000 tons more than the target expected when President Etienne Eyadema officially opened the works in April, 1970.
The only factory of its kind in West Africa, the Sotoma - Societe Togolese de Marbrerie et Materiaux - plant is additionally unique in the fact that it is the only factory in Africa itself to process marble quarried in it own country. Togo's marble mines are at Gnaoulou, 80 miles (125 kms) north of Lome, and are busy producing 20,000,000 tons a year of the three types of the distinctive "Gris du Togo" - Togolese Grey - marble that is finding export markets in Dahomey, Niger, the Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa and Ghana. Italy, too, although world renowned for her own ancient marble industry, uses the Togolese product, while countries as far apart as Hong Kong and Luxembourg have recently show interest. To date, 11,000 tons a year are being exported.
Sotoma is a joint enterprise between the Togolese Government and the private Italian company, SINCO. When the project commenced in 1969, Togo put up about two thirds of the capital, amounting to 350,000,000 francs CFA(GBP525,000 sterling).