Asia Pacific today accounts for a major market globally, for lime and lime-derived products. However, Australia captures a key market in Asia Pacific, surpassing all other regions in the segment. Although manufacturers are currently seeking cost-effective methods for improved operational efficiency, the market for lime is growing at a steady pace. According to market research, the Australian market for lime will expand at a CAGR of 1.7% in values, during the forecast period.
Let us now learn more about lime and the applications, which seem to drive the market in Australia toward steady growth.
Extracted from underground mines and quarries, limestone is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock, abundantly available worldwide. Limestone is rich in calcium or magnesium carbonate, or both in form of dolomite, offers a wide range of products, including lime. Hydrated and quicklime are two of the most widely used products derived from burnt (calcined) limestone.
While applications of lime have been in practice in various industries, including construction, mining, metallurgy, agriculture, chemical, and industrial processes, the application areas that consume the maximum amount of lime are mining and construction.
There Are a Myriad Applications of Lime in Mining
Lime and derived products play a key role in refining and conditioning of metal ores, and processing of non-ferrous metals, such as gold, silver, aluminum, copper, nickel, and zinc. A variety of lime products are extensively used in the froth flotation process of zinc, copper, and nickel. In aluminum processing, lime facilitates regeneration of caustic and precipitation of impurities. Use of lime-derived products in processing of silver and gold is specifically directed to the indication of the right pH conditions in the leaching circuit.
Limestone powder is widely used in mining, especially in coal mines, as it aids passive fire protection and prevention of underground explosions. However, the most sought after application of lime products, includes dust suppression in mines. Besides refining, acid gas scrubbing also employs lime-based products on a large scale, during smelting operations. Moreover, there are several applications of lime in mining water treatment plants. The major application however includes drying and stabilization of mining water sludge.
Applications of Lime in Building and Construction Dominates Market
Construction of residential complexes, parking lots, driveways, malls, roadways, airport runways, embankments, industrial structures, and other buildings consumes large amounts of lime-derived products. Limestone aggregates constitute a major part of concrete. They also find applications in foundation footing, pipe bedding, drainage, and pitching. Apart from this, lime is also used in making of self-compacting concrete and ready mixed concrete.
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Pre-cast concrete manufacturing involves extensive use of ground calcium carbonate. Pre-cast concrete is light-colored and considered ideal for architectural applications. Some of the most popular products of cast-concrete include roof tiles, paving slabs, and paving blocks. Limestone powder finds a plethora of applications in plastisols and plasticized PVC, which are eventually used in modern floor coverings, such as carpet tiles and vinyl flooring.
Apart from building and construction, lime-based products are exploring increasing applications in landscaping as well. A lot of modern, decorative landscaping methods require limestone aggregates and chippings for constructing footpaths, walkways, and cycle tracks. Decorative limestone grits are also used for creating innovative designs of garden grounds, car parks, and rockeries. Other widespread applications are in calcium silicate bricks, concrete blocks, drainage systems, and soil erosion control.
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