For the past 10 years, our sister company Jebsen & Jessen Hamburg has,through its member company GMA Garnet Europe, distributed Australian garnet in Europe on an exclusive basis. Garnet is a naturally occurring, chemically inert mineral that is widely applied as a highly effective, safe, environmentally sound and technically superior industrial abrasive. Garnet is used in blast cleaning, high-pressure waterjet cutting as well as material surface preparation across a wide range of industries, including shipbuilding, oil & gas, aerospace, and a variety of cottage industries. Australian garnet is considered the world's most effective garnet material and, as a result, enjoys worldwide market leadership. Since its inception in 1991, GMA Garnet Europe has followed a continuous growth trajectory and is today the undisputed market leader in Europe - with the garnet sales complimented by a full range of waterjet cutting accessories, nozzles and spare parts as well as specialised GMA Garnet Recycling Systems.
Early this year, the shareholders of Jebsen & Jessen Hamburg together withtheir partner in GMA Garnet Europe formed a holding company GarnetInternational Resources Pty Ltd (GIRL) in Perth, Western Australia. Effective April 1, 2002, GIRL acquired a 50% stake in GMA Garnet Australia, which owns and operates the mine and processing facilities where GMA Garnet is produced. GMA's facilities are located five hundred kilometers north of Perth. The Barton Group, a US-based leader in industrial garnet abrasives, holds the remaining 50% of GMA Garnet Australia. GMA's Australian Garnet will henceforth be distributed by GIRL in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa. The Barton Group will control distribution in North Asia, Eastern Australia as well as North and South America.