With the rapid increase in the construction and mining activities for dolomite, the market for dolomite mining and equipments has the potential to exhibit significant growth in the future. According to Mineral planning factsheet, out of a total of 12.2 Million tons of Dolomite mined in the United Kingdom, around 10.8 Million tons is used in the construction industry. Nearly 50 % of world’s carbonate reserves are in dolomite and these dolomite reserves can also host a significant amount of hydrocarbons. Hence with an abundance of reserves, diverse applications and easy mining procedures, dolomite mining activities can increase significantly in the near future. Dolomite can also serve as the source of magnesium, whose demand is increasing at the rate of around 3% per year according to the magnesium investing news.
Segmentation of the dolomite mining market can be done on the basis of technology, crystal structure, applications and location of mines. Dolomite is extracted by surface quarrying using drilling and blasting techniques. A quarry is a form of open pit mine from which minerals are extracted. Surface quarrying is also sometimes referred to as open pit mining or strip mining.
Depending upon the crystal structure dolomite can be classified as planar-e, planar-s type and non planar dolomite. Planar-e dolomite is commonly referred to as euhedral dolomite while planar-s dolomite is referred to as subhedral dolomite. Planar-e type dolomite contains uniform throat sizes and a well an interconnected pore system while planar-s type dolomite does not have these qualities. Non planar dolomite occurs in the subsurface, at temperatures of more than 50 degree centigrade.
Dolomite as a mineral has very few uses. However, dolostone (dolomite rock) is widely used in the construction industry. Dolostone is crushed and sized for use as a base material for road construction. Dolomite can also be used in production of float glass, as a flux in iron smelting, as a source of magnesium oxide, in horticulture and in particle detectors.
A rapidly growing road construction industry is likely to be one of the major demand drivers for dolomite which would in turn drive the market for its mining. Abundance of the mineral might trigger localized mining activities to lower logistical costs and increase profitability. Niche market applications of dolomite such as horticulture and particle detectors are fluctuating demand, but are likely to show steady growth over the forecast period.
Regional segmentation of dolomite market can be done on the basis of the location of the dolomite reserves. In North America reserves are located mostly in the United States and Canada. In Europe reserves may be found in Ireland, Hungary, Italy and Austria. China, India and Australia show concentrated dolomite mining activities in the Asia Pacific region. South Africa, Algeria, Iran and Brazil are some of the other countries having significant dolomite reserves.
In 2011, China was the leading producer of quicklime and hydrated lime including dead burned dolomite. An environmental concern related to mining activities is the main restraint to the dolomite mining market. This might result in market penetration of cleaner mining technologies in the future. However with growing infrastructure requirements of developing countries in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America, the demand for dolomite is likely to show high growth rates in the future.
Some of the major players in dolomite mining market are Essel Mining and Industries Limited (India), JFE mineral companies Limited (Philippines), Infrasors Holding Limited (South Africa), DMITRE (Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and energy) (Australia), Arrium mining and materials (Australia) and Inca mining.
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