The mining company Franzefoss Minerals is a wholly family-owned group with a long and exciting history. Here is a brief summary of our history.
- Our business started in 1919 when W. B. Markussen built Franzefoss Kalkmølle based on a local lime deposit at Franzefossen in the Sandvikselven river in Bærum. He personally owned the company until 1936, when it was taken over by his son, Sverre Markussen, and converted to the limited liability company Franzefoss Bruk AS.
- The company experienced strong growth after the war, dealing in lime, crushed stone and, later, concrete and asphalt, with a number of facilities in Eastern Norway and in Northern Norway.
- In 1973, Sverre Markussen’s six children took over the company with equal shares, under the leadership of Olav Markussen. Growth continued and the company also moved into silicate minerals and recycling, but eventually moved out of asphalt and concrete.
- Our first limestone operation outside of Franzefoss was the construction of our Ballangen plant in 1979–80, based on nine years of trial operations related to the dolomite deposit at Hekkelstrand in Ofoten.
- In 1982, we took over operations at the Hylla Kalkverk lime works in Inderøy from the Buch family, who had run the company since its inception in 1897. The business became part of Verdalskalk AS in 1991.
- In 1983, the Berg family took over the Ringerike Kalkverk lime works at Åsa, and in 1995, the Sandbakken family took over the Hole Kalkverk lime works at Bøverbru.
- The feldspar/quartz plant in Lillesand and the olivine plant at Bryggja were taken over by the Bjørum family in 1988. This business was incorporated into North Cape Minerals AS in 1994–95, where it acquired a 16 per cent stake, which was reduced to 11 per cent in 2004.
- In 2004, NorFraKalk was formed together with Nordkalk to produce high quality lime for PCC (Precipitated Calcium Carbonate) for paper and other special industrial purposes.
- In 2005, one and a third of the ownership branches in Franzefoss Bruk AS were eliminated through the company’s purchase of treasury shares. Three of the branches formed the company Franzefoss AS, sold their shares in Franzefoss Bruk AS and bought Franzefoss Pukk AS, Franzefoss Gjenvinning AS and Franzefossbyen from the same company. The two remaining branches, represented by Gunnar and Olav Markussen and family, formed the company Franzefoss Minerals AS. This company then acquired all shares in Franzefoss Bruk AS, which included all lime and mineral-based activities, as well as the original lime mill at Franzefossen. The lime mill is now a cultural centre in Bærum.
- The lime business has since grown into a robust group in the form of Franzefoss Minerals AS, with three robust production companies, competent staff resources and a sales organisation.
- We have grown from 103 employees in 2005 to 171 employees in 2018, moving into new markets and opening new production plants.
The lime group will be 100 years old in 2019, and we are looking forward to another 100 years.