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Hess Pumice Products, located in southeastern Idaho near the community of Malad City, is a mining operation and processing facility specializing in the extraction and refining of high quality pumice.
Hess Pumice is favored by nature with a vast reserve of pumice, as high a quality as any available on earth and is dedicated to the highest standards of refinement, accuracy of grading and quality control. This, coupled with our commitment to efficient, responsive "On Spec - On Time" customer service, makes Hess a world-class producer, able to supply your pumice product needs.
In continual operation since 1958, Hess Pumice recently moved into a new production facility equipped with the most current technology and machinery. Hess Pumice has a stable source of supply, and an exclusive focus on producing and distributing precisely controlled industrial grades of pumice. This focus has made Hess Pumice the world's leading supplier of highly refined pumice.
Hess Pumice Products was founded on good fortune and nurtured by hard work and optimism. It all began when founder Marion Hess' construction business went bust. He took what equipment he had left, and with the encouragement of a nearby farmer, dug up an area where the farmer couldn't get anything to grow. Marion ripped up a quantity of the white volcanic rock and shipped it to a Salt Lake City company who bought it—and much more—to use in lightweight concrete block.
Hess Pumice sales took off when Marion's son Marvin, a newly-minted engineering graduate of the University of Utah, discovered that the television industry was buying fine-grade pumice for use in polishing and finishing television screens. His father's pumice deposit certainly fit that need. Exceptionally, it turns out. It was quickly evident that the pumice coming out of Malad City, Idaho was the best in the world, as it was chosen by manufacturers worldwide, even by those who had a local supply nearby.
In 1971 Marvin designed a small pilot plant inside a converted diesel shop and he and his father began the process of developing and refining a fine-ground pumice product. They tirelessly refined and tweaked their process and gradation capabilities to the extent that Hess Pumice became the market choice for the television glass industry. And with this growing capability in high-grade pumice, Hess entered the global market in the late 80s.
Hess Pumice quickly grew to dominate the world market for industrial abrasives, even in Japan, which had its own pumice producer, becoming the sole supplier to the screen glass division of NEC.
A large production facility was constructed in 1986, with a second built and placed into operation in 1996. Each plant is equiped with the latest tech and machinery for the production and packaging of hundreds of pumice grades.
Hess Pumice continues to thrive by holding tightly to the principles that made them a world leader: produce a high-quality pumice product, meet customer specificiations, and do it consistently and on time.
Three factors point to a exciting and sustainable future for Hess Pumice:
—Our Wright Creek Area mine (located 22 miles northwest of Malad City) has a comfirmed yield of 200-plus years of available pumice.
—The company is family owned and managed, with the fourth generation already on the job and dealing with the day to day operations.
—We continue to invest in innovative processing methods and capacity while actively seeking new markets for our exceptional white pumice. For example, we recently developed six new gradations (NCS 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 and 15) for the fillers and extenders market, with additional applications in the rubber and plastics industry. We are also moving product into and exploring applications for pumice in other diverse industrial arenas.