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Information at a Glance

  • Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound, with chemical formula CaCO3. It is commonly used medicinally as a calcium supplement or as an antacid. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime. It is a common substance found as rock in all parts of the world and is the main component of seashells and the shell of snails. It is usually the principal cause of hard water.
  • Calcite is even a major component in the igneous rock called carbonatite and forms the major portion of many hydrothermal veins. Some of these rock types are composed of better than 99% calcite.


  • The production of GCC (and of dolomite, which is very similar) starts with its extraction. Identifying the right ore-body in terms of composition, homogenicity, etc. is essential to the whole production process ; a pure calcium carbonate source needs to be identified.
  • Limestone is converted into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide by means of calcination at temperatures in excess of 900°C. To ensure a high level of purity, the calcination process is carried out using natural gas. The carbonation product, calcium carbonate, could possibly be marketed as precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), which is used as filler mainly in paper.


  • Patented Technology for the conversion of lime and industrial lime waste into a new and superior form of calcium carbonate. The Fiber Loading™ process (US Patent 5,223,090 and RE 35,460) adopts the PCC manufacturing technology used in a satellite plant to the pulp processing operation in a paper mill.
  • In comparison to the existing satellite plant technology, Fiber LoadingTM can be more efficient than the conventional method due to its high consistency on-line reactor operation, which could eliminate the need for a satellite plant to manufacture PCC slurry. The Fiber Loading™ process results in potential raw material savings for the papermaker.


  • Calcium carbonate rocks are spread throughout the world, which is why they have been among the most widely used raw materials for more than 5000 years. Long ago, the Egyptians built their pyramids with limestone, and today we still use hundred of millions of tonnes of calcium carbonate in the building industry alone.
  • The applications of PCC, which is generally finer, are limited compared to those of GCC. The principal ones are: paper, adhesives, plastics, elastomers, foodstuffs, food colourants, pharmaceuticals, toiletries, etc. Recently, the usage of PCC is increasing because it imparts certain property enhancements to the end users.


  • Increased demand from the paper industry has been the main factor behind the rapid growth in production of PCC since the mid-1980s. The change from acid to neutral papermaking allowed paper companies to use calcium carbonate, which was competitively priced and which, in some cases, was brighter than the kaolin it replaced. The use of PCC in paper is forecast to rise by an average of 5% a year and reach 7.2Mt by 2010. Overall demand for PCC is forecast to rise from 7.75Mt in 2004 to 9.7Mt by 2010, an average rise of around 4.4%py.
  • An calcium carbonate industry is highly capital intensive. The combined value of the survey participants’ capital investments in 2004 was close to $104 million. The production of tat industry is highly energy intensive. Their members consumed more than 1.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2004 and spent more than $87 million on electricity and $89 million on natural gas.

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