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The Quarzwerke Group—stages in our history

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A history that meanwhile goes back over 130 years makes the Quarzwerke Group a company that is one of the richest in tradition in the country, especially in the area surrounding Cologne.

It is of course difficult to summarize even the milestones of this long period of development in just a few sentences—after all there have been two world wars and many other incisive changes in the course of the company's history. We have attempted with our timeline to make the most important stages in the development of our company comprehensible for you—a summary that will hopefully allow you to better appreciate the history of our company.


Railroad entrepreneurs Wilhelm Köhnen and Carl Grosspeter are encouraged by the Krupp Company to mine a deposit of silica sand in Frechen-Buschbell.


The company founders part ways. Carl Grosspeter takes over the operations in Buschbell and Grosskönigsdorf with a company called C. Grosspeter GmbH Sand and Stoneware Works, while Wilhelm Köhnen heads the construction company that carries his name in Essen.


In the early 1980s the entrepreneurs expand their work operations by erecting a stoneware factory in Grosskönigsdorf to produce sewer bricks and conduits.


Civil engineer August Lindemann founds the Cöln-Frechener Kristallsandwerke mbH, which begins mining a second, equally valuable deposit of silica sand near Frechen.


Engineer Otto Lindemann, son of August Lindemann, joins the management board of Cöln-Frechener Kristallsandwerke. He draws plans for a modern sand-washing facility that is built on Dürener Street.


Otto Lindemann purchases the company from his father, and together with Hans Grosspeter, merges the two neighboring companies to form Grosspeter Lindemann & Co. KG.


The family-owned Lenders - Fretter-Pico group joins the company as a shareholder. The agricultural family owns large plots of land in the mining area.


Hans Grosspeter, successor to Carl Grosspeter on the management board, dies at the age of 48.

In the autumn of the year 1923 the Frechen GmbH quartz milling plant is founded and erects a modern quartz milling facility on Dürener Street in Frechen. As the only member of the founding family, Otto Lindemann runs both companies until 1945.


The Rhenish Construction and Crystal Sand Works are founded and establish a mining operation near Haltern in Westphalia.


Another modern quartz milling facility is erected in the river port of Neuss to serve foreign and domestic customers more economically by means of river barges. Primary customer is the company Henkel & Cie., with whom the Frechen GmbH quartz milling plant has had a contract to supply raw materials since 1930. This enables the company to meet the growing demand for its scouring detergent “ATA.


The company is renamed Quarzwerke GmbH. Otto Lindemann designs the company logo, which is still in use to this day and formed the basis for the logos of some of the subsidiary companies.


In the years after the war, the heavily damaged plants in Frechen, Haltern and Neuss are rebuilt.

In the summer, Carl Ludwig Grosspeter, grandson of founder Carl Grosspeter, joins the management board of the parent company. In collaboration with Otto Lindemann he assumes responsibility for the rebuilding effort and sets up operations at the Großkönigsdorf stoneware plant.


A supply agreement is signed with Belgium’s leading quartz producer SCR, Sablières et Carrieères Réunies S. A.


Certified mining engineer Hans Lindemann joins the management board of Quarzwerke GmbH and assumes responsibility for streamlining the sales organization, the founding of a technical planning division, the erection of a central laboratory and the establishment of an advertising strategy focused on the newly improved products.

To support these objectives, the plant in Haltern is refitted for mining and wet-processing. Planning gets underway for the quartz milling facility in Haltern and for a new plant in Frechen. 


In collaboration with the Belgian partner SCR, plants are set up in Belgium (Sibelco) and France (Sifraco, 1957), to be followed by plants in Switzerland (Sihelco, 1960), Italy (Sibelco Italiana, 1963), Spain (Sibelco Espanola, 1969) and the USA (Unimin Corp., 1973). 


The Quarzwerke central laboratory in Frechen goes into operation.


Quarzwerke GmbH builds the first facility for coating quartz sand with resin (the so-called Croning or C-process) in Haltern. A second shell molding facility is erected in Gambach.


New mining operations get underway on the eastern edge of the silica sand mining pit in Frechen.


Otto Lindemann dies after having served the company for 50 years, 47 of them as managing partner.


The stoneware division is divested to form the Grosspeter Lindemann management company.


The first surface-treated fillers are produced.


Following the completion of the new milling facility at the edge of the mining operation in Frechen, the old milling facility on Dürener Street is converted into a technical center to develop new procedures, processes and products.


Together with SCR-Sibelco, Quarzwerke acquires B. V. Jan de Poorter, of Geertruidenberg, Holland. Since 1934, the company has been trading and processing imported minerals that are also needed by customers to whom Quarzwerke supplies silica sand.

Commercial merchant Horst Grosspeter joins the management board.


Quarzwerke GmbH is founded in Zelking near Melk, Austria.


The main headquarters of Quarzwerke GmbH is moved from Cologne to Frechen.


The western European subsidiaries undergo a reorganization process. SCR-Sibelco concedes shares in the parent company and in return assumes control of the companies that had previously been shared in southern and Western Europe.


A profit-sharing plan is instituted for employees of Quarzwerke. Old-age and company pensions schemes had already been in place since 1951.


Quarzwerke assumes more and more responsibility for transport, and in the late 1980s begins establishing transport companies.

Quarzwerke also assumes responsible for the operation of the Flaesheim location in 1985. The land had been purchased in the year 1966.


New warehouses are built in Mannheim and Stuttgart. The warehouse in Wertheim is built two years later.


Hans Lindemann-Berk leaves the company after nearly 50 years, 38 of them as managing partner.

Commercial merchant Robert Lindemann-Berk, son of Hans Lindemann, joins the company, initially responsible for developing the Eastern European market. In the following years he will be called on to join the management board.


With the acquisition of the Walbeck GmbH sand and clay factory in Weferlingen, and the Hohenbockaer Quartz Works GmbH two years later, Quarzwerke GmbH  obtains locations in former East Germany.


Quarzwerke acquires Provodínské písky a. s. in the Czech Republic. In the following years, additional companies will be acquired in Poland (KiZPPS Osiecznica, 1995 / Surmin-Kaolin S. A., 1998 / TSKM Biala Góra, 2007), Slovakia (KerkoSand a. s., 2000) and Russia (SAO Balaschejskie Peski, 2005).


Acquisition of the Eduard Kick GmbH & Co. KG kaolin works in Amberg, with locations in Hirschau, Schnaittenbach, Caminau and Kemmlitz. This expands the product portfolio of Quarzwerke in Germany to include kaolin and feldspar.


The silica sand mining operation in Frechen has now reached the edge of the Buschbell mine that was closed down in 1925.


The families that own the company realign their interests. With the departure of the Grosspeter family, the American holdings and part of other non-strategic involvements are divested.

Besides Robert Lindemann-Berk and Dr. Otto Hieber, who has served as managing director of the kaolin plant in Amberg since 1993, Jens-Uwe Klemens and Dr. Paul Páez-Maletz are appointed to the board of management.


New activities are initiated for kaolin in the Ukraine and for silica sand in Russia.


Witterschlick – new plant for gravel and silica sand. The quarry and treatment plant in the Rhein-Sieg district have been acquired from an insolvency administrator.


125th anniversary of Quarzwerke. On this occasion, a chronicle about the history of the company is published.


Quarzwerke wins the German Sustainability Award of the Gravel and Sand Industry (Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis Kies und Sand) for the second time after 2007.


Celebration of the inauguration of the newly built Silica Sand Plant Ulyanovsk in Silicatny (Province of Ulyanovsk, Russia).

We'll be glad to answer any questions relating to our history. Just speak to us!