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We speak German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Belgium, Portuguese, Scandinavian and English 


Balke & Partners is a fast growing network of over 300 stone experts around the world working in all fields of natural stone resources. 
We are working in dimension stone, aggregate, sand gravel pits and industrial minerals with geologists, experts in mining, stone processing and equipment, mining law, financing, marketing and sales and many others. 
Most of our partners have more than 20 years working experience and professionals in their sector.

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Markus W. Balke - Founder
over 30 years
in natural stone business 

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Director and Founder of Balke & Partner network with currently more than 200 experts in stone business and associated fields established in August 2010.

Orator at World-Stone Congresses, international conventions and fairs.

Xiamen/China  - Middle East Big 5 Dubai/UAE - Verona/Italy and many more.

  • Member of  IMC Institute of Managements Consultants USA

  • Member of APC Association of Professional Consultants

  • Member of National Stone Association NSI



  • Initiator of start up natural stone production and distribution networks around the world.

          e.g.  www.luis-vincent .com, etc.

  • Expert in global international trading and master degree in business economics.

  • 25 years professional experiences in processing natural stones and worldwide sales.

  • Innovative and positive forward creative strategist in global project business, focused on natural stone production and trade.


Dr. Ing James Varela

Expert Partner and regional director
South America and Lusophone countries 

Porto Alegre - RS, 90035-190, Brazil 

M +49 178 110 7591 



is an Expert (theory and practice) for mineral processing (physical and chemical processes), including crushing, screening, washing, grinding, gravimetric and magnetic separation, sorting, flotation, granulation and high temperature processes. 

More than 20 years of professional experience in Brazilian and German companies.
Professional with more than 20 years of experience in Research, Operations, Project Management, 
Strategic Planning and Sales in middle/large size multinational companies.

As project and sales manager for New Equipment/Industrial Plant Business/Service. 
Experienced professional for technical specification and consolidation with interdisciplinary teams, as well commercial execution. 
Material and production costs comparison, logistics solution, environment, legal and risk assessment, including the service aspects, especially for international turn-key projects (EPC Contracts).


Solid experience with strategic planning, quotation elaboration and contract execution at tkIS Business Unit Service (Spare parts, Revamps, Service Center and Field Services activities related with Mining, Mineral Processing and Cement Industry). 

Major Project realized at Latin America, USA, Canada, Germany. Highly motivated and commitment to achieve results/solutions. 

Multicultural thinking, flexible, excellent communication skills and team player. Ability to connect persons. Interested at Sport, Travel, Food.

He speaks German, English, Spanish on C1 Expert language skills level and Portuguese Native.
Doctor degree: Calcination of Limestone  

As an native Brazilian and spanish speaking, he will focus on South America and all Lusophone countries.

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Eduardo M. Zavala 

Expert Partner and regional director  

Mexico and hispanic countries South America 

Mexico City 

P +52 998 370 3101


Eduardo M. Zavala has graduated in Business Administration from the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His path in life has taken him on an exciting journey, full of learning and personal growth.


Since his first steps in the academic world, he has dedicated myself to the study and practice of topics related to Sales and Marketing. His studies abroad broadened my perspective and allowed me to gain valuable skills and knowledge that he have applied throughout his career.


But what he is really passionate about is inspiring and motivating others to reach their full potential. Over the years,he has become one of the most recognized speakers and trainers in Productivity and Personal Improvement in Mexico. His mission is to transform salespeople into advisors, help entrepreneurs achieve their goals, and train sales professionals and business leaders.


His books, "SI SE PUEDE" and "RELÁCIONATE Y VENDE", published by SELECTOR®, have become Best Sellers, with more than 150,000 copies sold. These works have served as inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people, guiding them towards the path of success and personal fulfillment.


Through nationwide workshops, seminars, and training programs, he has had the privilege of sharing hisknowledge and experiences with a diverse audience. His approach is to personalize the "Relate and Sell" model in each product and service that is promoted, which allows to sell everything! I have also founded a movement dedicated to empowering those who want to counsel their clients effectively.


In short, his life and career have been focused on personal and professional growth, and helping others achieve their goals and dreams. He hopes that his life story and his passion for personal improvement inspire, to achieve goals and believe in the power of "Yes, we can."


His motivation to join Balke & Partner network:

Eduardo was part of the founding group of the Century 21 Real Estate Network in Mexico and since then he has considered real estate as the most accurate investment we can make. When he received the proposal from Markus Balke to be part of the international team of Balke and Partners, he considered it as the great opportunity to be part of a select team of brilliant minds, now around the natural stone industry, which throughout over the centuries it has transformed into one of the options with the greatest investment potential available to visionaries since with quarries and mines, it is enhanced by what the earth produces: MINERALS, support for any transaction that generates wealth.

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Joseph Sam 
Expert Partner and regional director  
South and East Asia 

New Delhi  110070  INDIA

P +91 98103 19111


I.Joseph Sam is a multifaceted management professional with evolved entrepreneurial capabilities, exemplary familiarity with International business practices & diverse sectoral experience.


He has built & continues to build businesses with a global outlook from its incubation phase and have actively led activities from business planning, roll out, funding, business re-engineering & repositioning, brand building, investor relations and global alliances & partnerships.

In the last 2 decades he has had extensive exposure & participated in leadership, operational, advisory and strategic roles. His sectoral experience includes Mining, Building Materials, Consumer Goods & Services and Manufacturing. His lead expertise has evolved from General Management into Strategic initiatives, Finance & Investment management and Business Development. 


He is a qualified Corporate Director from the Institute of Directors, a Production Engineer and a Post Graduate in Marketing Management.

He has also an Advanced Certification in Investment Law & Institutional Finance, is Certified in Business Valuation, a Certified Negotiator, Certified in Change Management and Certified in Entrepreneurship.


He has also a Diploma in Advertising & PR. Currently besides being on the Management team of one of India’s largest Natural Stone quarry group's he is also an Advisor to a fast growing Agri venture and advises various state Governments on new industrial initiatives. He has been the CEO of various companies in the past and also was heading a Dutch Agro fund initiative till April 2018.


Active into sports he is also a part of initiatives that include mentoring slum and street kids and believes no one should stay hungry or stay foolish.

Joseph Sam : 

"The reason I joined Markus in his global initiative of aggregating Quarries for Investment and Sale is because of

(1). his professional expertise & networking in this area,

(2). his ability to envision the monetisation of natural resources astutely and collaboratively and

(3). his strong business practises which resonate his values, vision and integrity.


Markus has entered a space with the objective of ensuring that the future of natural resources is secure through collaborative intervention and at the same time it ensure cross pollination of investment into potentially sustainably profitable ventures." 


Ajit Kumar

Finance & Business Development


Expert Partner East and North Asia 

China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan,

Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea

and Taiwan

Hong Kong 999077 - Central District  
P +852 93270117


Ajit believes in quote said by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus “The only Constant in the Life is Change” Life is all about to experience the change, lets love & live it. 


Kumar, Ajit has a very versatile talent in the field of corporate finance and international trade & business, his attitude and solution-oriented approach makes him a leader with difference. 


Ajit has extensively worked in area of research analysis, corporate finance & business valuation. He is expert in business valuation mainly in minerals & mining business. 


He is very active in Hong Kong, China & Singapore market since 2012. Besides his sectoral experience in investment banking, he has been working in dimensional stone quarry industry since 2015 as director with Indian group.

He joined the group when group was very small and at very nascent stage, Ajit did financial modelling to bring the investors, created structure of the company to fetch investment from strategic investment along with financial investment from private investors, opened up export market at China, Thailand & Taiwan.

Ajit helped his group to raise USD 12 million to fund the quarry. 


Besides being on the team of Balke & Partners as an Expert Partner, currently Ajit is on board of several stone quarry companies as a consultant. Ajit is very active on various business chambers & associations:

  • The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)

  • Punjab Commerce & Management Association (PCMA)


He is qualified management professional with 16 years of rich experience in varied settings across the industries, organizations, cultures, roles, decision making context and countries. 


Ajit is management graduate in finance (MBA) and an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), India’s premier management business school


He has been teaching in several leading business schools and conducted workshops in the study of security analysis & portfolio management and business valuations. 


Ajit is very passionate about sports, he is good in cricket, chess and table tennis. He is actively playing table tennis in the category of veterans at national levels. 


“What makes him special in this business is his astute ability to turn quarry story into numbers, which can speaks itself without any business” 

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Henning Roger Gravdal

Finance & Strategic Management 

Geologist and expert for concrete technology and mineral processing 


Expert Partner and

Regional director Scandinavia 

Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland 

3912 Porsgrunn / Oslo - Norway

P +4795238877

Henning Roger Gravdal has 25 years executive management experience from multinational companies engaged in cement, concrete and industrial minerals and were picked for different positions and mandates over the last years:

CEO for SMA Magnesia AS over 10 years as well as market and production responsibility for 

SMA Mineral AB in Europe which had joint ventures with Omya and Heidelberg Cement and Carmeuse.


He is an international entrepreneur with a special passion, for industrial minerals.

He has initiated and executed several big mineral and industrial projects in Scandinavia, West Africa and West Indies over the last decades.

For Heidelberg Cement AG he just finished a COO mandate in an international project in Ghana.


After completing his MBA in Finance & Strategic Management in Norway he started to work with mining, processing, minerals and natural resources for multinational companies worldwide. 

He has a degree in geology, and considered as an expert within concrete technology and mineral processing.


He enthusiastically joined the network of stone experts in Balke & Partners

this year, and are looking forward to share his knowledge and experience

with the team in the «Stone Expert Alliance».


Henning live with his family close to Oslo in Norway.

He is an enthusiastic snowboarder and mountaineer.

As soon as time allows he is to be found in their family

house in the Norwegian mountains with his dog Era,

who also is joining him on the picture.

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Marilena Sidiropoulou  

Expert Partner - Country Director Greece  

Thessaloniki - Greece 

P +30 694 696 9814


Marilena Sidiropoulou is an active lawyer in Greece since 2011. In addition, she holds a degree in Economics and a Master in Commercial and Business Law.

During her legal career, she handled various cases in civil, commercial, business, administrative, and criminal law. She also provided legal advisory and compliance services.

As a certified Data Protection Officer (DPO) Executive with extensive experience as a GDPR and privacy consultant she managed numerous GDPR compliance projects.

In recent years, she acquired professional certifications in the fields of internal audit, internal controls, and risk management (COSO IC, COSO ERM). 

She’s been successfully executed various national and international projects involving the implementation of internal control systems and provided comprehensive consulting services.

Combining her professional experience with her academic background, makes her and expert in compliance, processes, standards, transactions, contracts, documentation, risk management, and legal compliance for investments in natural resources.


Her skills equip her to offer valuable insights and effective solutions in complex legal cases and transactions for quarry and mining business worldwide.

Her Live partner is implemented the global stone industry network and has a detailed network of quarry/mine/pit owners within Greece, which makes it a perfect match.


Her Motivation to join Balke&Partners: 

What impresses and particularly appeals to me about Balke and Partners, beyond its experience and professional profile, is the way you distinguish and highlight numerous and diverse solutions according to the clients' needs. Your commitment to maximizing every opportunity in a methodical and organized manner, along with your extensive knowledge and specialization in industry products and their derivatives, creates an environment that, I believe, aligns perfectly with my professional background. This alignment will allow me to contribute to your initiatives and projects effectively.

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Expert Partner worldwide - Gold and Silver Desposits - Mining Engineer

and Metallurgist

University of Guanajuato 1963-1967, 



Durango Mexico 

P +52 618 182 4761 



Professional experience


January 2021 to date

operational advisor for MGA Mining Contractor of Durango Dgo.

Adviser for several mining companies. 


March 2016 to date  

entrepreneur for a mining project in Pinos Zac 


January 2013-November 2015

Consultant for Compañía Minera Autlán and Baramin S.A. de C.V. 


April 2012-December 2012

Adviser for Nyrstar N.V. who acquired Farallon Mining Ltd. 


2004-March 2012

General Manager for Farallón Minera Mexicana S.A. de C.V. subsidiary company of Farallon Mining Ltd. In turn, part of the Hunter-Dickinson group of companies in Vancouver. Campo Morado mine with a 200 million usd investment a 2,500 tpd operation, underground mine, cut and fill and a flotation mill. Operating in a very 

complicated social environment, the company achieved full operation in three months and with 0 social problems. 




Consultant for Teckcominco for the San Nicolás project in Villa González Ortega Zac. The project was suspended due to low Zinc prices.

Consultant for National Gold for the Mulatos project, Son. Conducting negotiations with the Ejido Mulatos.

Consultant to the Secretary of Economic Development of the Government of Zacatecas

Consultant for the Director of Mining Development of the Government of Sinaloa Analyzing mining projects for different companies including Mauricio Hoschild of Peru in the Peñasquito project in Zacatecas.

With Minera de Nukay in Mezcala Gro. to develop a data room to provide the basis for negotiations for the objective of company sale. Negotiations were conducted with the different stakeholders in the acquisition of the project. They were successfully concluded, achieving a sale price of 94 million dollars to the company Wheaton River that developed the project now known as Los Filos Equinox Gold. 




As an official of Luismin S.A. de C.V. I actively participated in various international forums. I was a representative of Sanluis Corporation on the Conference Board of New York within the North American Council on the Environment. Luismin's representative at the International Council for Metals and the Environment in London, as a member of the Community Relations Committee. In both organizations, the Community Development projects that were designed for the Metates Project and for the Tayoltita Unit were presented, both based on Sustainable Development. Member of the Board of the Mining Chamber heading the Community Relations Committee. A meeting was held in 1999 with all the mining companies of the Chamber to analyse the problems of Community relations, having presented the conclusions of that meeting to the plenary of the Council.

During these years an intense research program was carried out to know the problems of world mining, there were countless meetings with top-level executives from various companies operating in different environments and countries. 




Luismin S.A. de C.V. as Director of Operations with responsibility for three mining operations producing 196,000 Oz au equivalent. With a combined grinding capacity of 700,000 tons in three plants, two countercurrent cyanidation and one flotation. during this time that SEMARNAT gave the Clean Industry certificate in all the company's operations. Likewise, a social development project was designed within the framework of the philosophy of Sustainable Development that in the long term will achieve a better relationship with neighboring communities. This project was presented at the AIMMGM Convention in Acapulco in 1999, with the title: Comunidad Minera Siglo XXI.

At this time also, the Board of Directors as part of its growth strategy approved exploring the likelihood of carrying out a merger with international companies. For this it was necessary to carry out a process of Due-diligence to the companies: Hecla Mining, Coeur d'Alene, Viceroy and Cambior. This meant visiting and reviewing in detail all the operations of the aforementioned companies covering not only the operational aspects but also the corporate, social and environmental aspects. The companies' mines are located in Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Québec, Yukon, Guyana and Chile. This process lasted three months. Subsequently, the same companies carried out Due-Diligence of Luismin's operations and projects. 



Development Director of Luismin S.A. de C.V. This was a newly created position in the company, including the Environment, Engineering, Construction and Metallurgical Managements. The fundamental purpose was to provide technical 

support to the operations to carry out a process of rationalization and modernization of them.

Another of my responsibilities was to be Luismin's representative on the management committees of the Joint Ventures with the companies Cambior and Hecla. 

The projects were Metates in the Municipality of Santiago Papasquiaro Dgo. and El Porvenir in Asientos, Ags.

Metates is a project containing 25,000,000 ounces of au equivalent, with refractory Au problems that required a conceptual process using for metallurgy a sulfide biooxidation system to release Au. The project is still in force pending better prices, but its technology was fully developed. 

El Porvenir is a gold project with 600,000 Oz of gold equivalent, Heap-Leach's project awaiting better prices. All the engineering was carried out for a heap leach with the recovery in activated carbon. 



Operations Manager for Minera Mexicana de Avino S.A. de C.V. operation with an initial capacity of 750 TPD, open pit mine, flotation plant. The operation expanded to 1500 TPD. The process of switching to underground mine was designed successful in cost and time. 



As an independent entrepreneur in Pinos Zac. In an operation to produce 6,000 Ounces of Au and 100,000 Oz of Ag per year. 



General Manager of Minerales de Bolaños S.A. de C.V. The operation consisted of a group of old mines with a flotation plant with a capacity of 1,500 TPD located in the State of Jalisco. 



Director of Operations Minera Real de Ángeles S.A. de C.V. This operation was carried out in a deposit with 100 million ounces of silver, the investment required for the project was 200 million dollars the project was completed on time and within budget. The result was that in three months the operation reached its design capacity, 14,000 tons per day. 



Compañía Minera Autlán S.A. de C.V. I started as head of mine shift in 1968 and was promoted until I was appointed Unit Manager in 1976.

The operation consisted of two mines, one open pit and the other underground in both productivity records were achieved compared to similar mines. The metallurgical process was a calcination-nodulization of manganese carbonates with a capacity of 300,000 tons of finished product per year. The mining unit operated with high standards of quality and safety. 



Compañía Minera La Campaña S.A. de C.V. (Peñoles) Reforma mine, 6 months as mine supervisor and six months as supervisor of flotation mill in an operation of 500 tpd 

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50678 Köln/Cologne  - P +49 221 168 18 990

F +49 221 9698 6567 


08001 Barcelona - Spain




Edinburgh EH1 3EG -  P +44 7977 410827



3912 Porsgrunn / Oslo - Norway

P +4795238877


54248 Thessaloniki Greece  

P +30 694 986 1794

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P +52 998 370 3101


P +52 998 370 3101

Gold Coast - Queensland - Australia 


New Delhi  110070  INDIA
P +91 98103 19111  south-asia@

Hong Kong 999077 - Central District  
P +852 9327 0117  hongkong@


We speak German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Belgium, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Greek and English 

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