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Dolomite

The dolomite mineral is a beautiful one due to it’s crystallising properties and white, tan, gray or pink colouring. It has an alternate structural arrangement of calcium and magnesium ions and has similar uses to limestone.

One of the first people to describe this mineral was in 1791 by the French naturalist and geologist Deodat Gratet de Dolomieu. He noticed it in the first buildings of the old city of Rome and later from samples collected in the Dolomite Alps of Northern Italy.

Uses of Dolomite in our daily life

Dolomite can be ‘hidden’ in many products we use everyday. For example, it is commonly used as antacids (neutralizes stomach acid), a base for face creams, baby powders, or toothpaste, calcium/magnesium nutritional supplements for animals and humans. Finely ground dolomite is used for filler applications in plastics, paints, rubber, adhesives and sealants. Pure white (high brightness) filler grades are preferred in this case.

The most important use, by volume, is in the construction industry. Dolomite and limestone are used in similar ways; they are crushed and used as an aggregate for both cement and bitumen mixes. Road builders mix it with concrete and asphalt and it is used as a ballast for railroads. Like limestone, dolostones are used as a construction resource for local consumption because of low transportation cost. Because its yellowish colour, dolostones are used as building stones and gravel for garden paths and driveways (e.g. “golden” gravel).