Company News News Global

40 Years of Innovation

For more than 40 years, GMA Garnet has produced the highest-quality garnet abrasives for the global abrasive blasting and waterjet cutting industries, with a focus on innovation, performance, reliability, and sustainability.

GMA Garnet was founded in 1983 after the world’s most concentrated alluvial garnet deposit was discovered near Port Gregory, a small coastal town in Western Australia’s Mid West region.

The high-performance abrasive potential of garnet was not recognized at the time, nor were there known uses for the mineral, but GMA’s founding team saw the potential for industrial garnet to revolutionize sandblasting while minimizing costs and impacts to businesses and the community.

In the following decades, GMA identified other high-grade garnet deposits, secured new tenements, and developed processing and recycling plants all around the world.

This allowed GMA to grow into the only vertically integrated industrial garnet supplier, managing the complete supply chain from the mine through to processing, international distribution, and recycling.

“What’s interesting is the commonly held theory that vertically integrated companies don’t work over the long term, because you can’t be excellent at everything,” GMA Chief Executive Grant Cox said.

“At GMA, we’re certainly trying to be excellent at everything, and we truly think we have been and will continue to be and strive to be the best in garnet processing and mining in the world and in the sales and distribution area.”

At GMA, we’re certainly trying to be excellent at everything, and we truly think we have been and will continue to be and strive to be the best in garnet processing and mining in the world and in the sales and distribution area.
Grant Cox
CEO, GMA Garnet Group

The founders of GMA had the belief from the outset that in order to be successful, the company had to establish a well-defined and well-developed distribution system.

"You know, you can have the best product in the world, but you need to convince customers to change from what they have been doing for such a long time," said GMA Founder and former CEO, Torsten Ketelsen.

Over its four decades, GMA has demonstrated its commitment to innovation, delivering products that are engineered to add value with industry-leading speed, surface quality, consumption, and reduced environmental and safety risks.

GMA has continually focused on innovation, enabling it to push the boundaries of product development in both waterjet cutting and abrasive blasting so that its customers achieve optimal cutting performance each and every time.

“Innovation in respect of new applications for GMA continues to be a huge investment at the moment,” explained Grant.

“GMA has got very unique characteristics for a mineral, and we know there’s going to be a third and a fourth major application for our product.

“So, we are investing in research to enable us to be able to reach new customers with what we do.”

GMA Founders Torsten Ketelsen and Ray Clarke.

The high performance and reduced abrasive consumption of GMA’s products often leads to overall financial savings for the entire project.

Flynn Cowan, General Manager of International Sales & Marketing at GMA, said the company had delivered exceptional customer support by ensuring continuity of supply and the performance of the product, which has a hardness, toughness, denseness, and angularity above and beyond GMA’s competitors.

“We use garnet typically in our traditional markets which is waterjet and blast, but we know that it has a multitude of uses, so we’re starting to focus on things like the concreting industry and the rubber industry as well,” he added.

GMA has a proud history of sustainable mining practices and is taking active steps to limit its environmental impact.

The global team is committed to reducing landfill and creating a longer lifespan for every grain of garnet mined, while creating more value for each and every customer.

Onsite at GMA Port Gregory operations 

GMA continues to invest heavily in developing new technologies and processes to further reduce environmental impacts, from mine to the customer, with an ongoing focus on innovation in garnet reprocessing.

Garnet recycling and reprocessing forms a large part of GMA’s business model, having started out fairly simply when the company was pioneering recycling many years ago.

“Over the years, we've been able to move to more sophisticated recycling or processing plants, particularly in the US business,” Grant said.

“I’m really excited by what we've been able to do there and the quality of products we're able to produce out of our reprocessing plants, as well as a change to our product and how we present that product to our customers.

He added that the next 40 years would be really exciting for GMA, for its people, and for its customers.

“I’m a big believer that if you have the right people in the business and you have the right culture and environment, we are going to be able to do anything that we set our minds to,” Grant said.

“If we do these things right, GMA will be a sustainable and successful company for many years to come.”