Geological History

Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone or dolomite rock, metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains.

Cowichan Lake & Tahsis Quarries History

Vancouver Island was created and formed by a dramatic geological cataclysmic event. Happening over millions of years, a continent formed below the equator known as ” Wrangalia,” over time, with the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates, Wrangalia collided and folded under the North American landmass.

Today the last vestiges of it remain in the Wrangle Mountains of Alaska, the Archipelago of Haida Guaii, and Vancouver Island where the operation of the two marble quarries exists today. The Black Carmanah Marble is located mid-island in Gorden River area and the Vancouver Island White Marble and Tlupana Blue-Grey Marble is from Tahsis area, on the Northwest coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Using the same techniques as Italy, we remove high-quality blocks of Marble and transport them to our finishing plant in Duncan, BC where we shape and fabricate the natural stone into products. Vancouver Island Marbles, exceptional beauty is a true reflection of the natural environment they come from.

Learn how VIMQ is a LEED Qualifier.

Quarries History

Since opening in 1980, the factory has been outfitted with modern Italian technologies, including 2 gang saws for cutting blocks of marble in various thicknesses, 2 CNC machines for specialty custom objects, tile line, and polishing line for finishing marble slabs for our stone gallery and product showroom. We proudly employ local talent and trades who stand behind the excellent quality of work. VIMQ continues in the exploration of marbles from Vancouver Island.
  • 1990
    Locally Sourced

    In 1980, Ivo Zanatta and father, Dennis Zanatta, an Italian stone expert and owner of Matrix Marble & Stone, realized the need for high quality and locally sourced stone. Many years of inquiry and investigation of geological archived history, and numerous journeys, the Zanatta’s in 1990, discovered black marble. The quarry, mid-island, near Cowichan Lake, developed into the production of blocks, slabs, and 3-dimensional products.

  • 1996
    Moving Forward

    In 1890 Nootka Marble Quarries of Ucluelet, BC opened a marble quarry at Hisnet Inlet in Nootka Sound. This quarry produced building stone and grave markers that are still visible today in the old graveyards of Vancouver Island. At the start of WW1, the quarry closed and shortly afterward and during the depression it was abandoned. In 1996, the Zanatta’s explored the old abandoned Nootka marble quarry close to Tahsis. Following the vein, they found the exquisite white and blue-grey marble and opened up their second quarry. Since establishing Vancouver Island Marbles in 1990, they continue to invest in the most recent quarrying equipment. Most recently a diamond wire saw and chain saw addition, minimizing the environmental impact, which helps support following sustainability ``best practices``. The quarries footprint is small, and reclamation minimal we keep our projects local, supplying clients in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

  • 2020
    Family Owned

    Today the two companies are still family-owned and operated by the Zanatta’s. Matrix Marble & Stone is the fabrication and processing plant, the largest suppliers of imported and natural stones on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Vancouver Island Marble Quarries continues in the exploration and quarrying of marbles from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Vancouver Island Made

Unique by nature, natural stones that withstand the test of time. Come and visit our showroom and select your Vancouver Island Marble from our vast stone gallery.