Limestone resources

Mitchell, Clive; Linley, Kathrine. 2012 Limestone resources. 1:100 000 scale geological map series. British Geological Survey.

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This map shows the geology of the northern UAE represented in terms of the purity of the various limestone units. The areas are classified according to the limestone purity scheme developed by the British Geological Survey (BGS). Limestone is composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) mainly as the mineral calcite. Therefore the primary criterion for limestone purity is the calcium carbonate content which is represented here by the chemical component calcium oxide (CaO). In addition, the scheme incorporates the main impurities found in limestone, namely magnesia (MgO), silica (SiO2) and iron oxide (Fe2O3). The scheme imposes limits on these chemical components, as shown in Table 1. For example, high purity limestone has more than 54.3%CaO (equivalent to 97% calcium carbonate), less than 1.0% MgO, less than 0.6% SiO2 and less than 0.1% Fe2O3. Locations where high purity limestone was found to occur are indicated on the map with a red star. Representative samples were taken from the limestone units (1 sample per 5km2 of limestone outcrop), analysed to determine their chemical composition and classified according to their chemical purity. The purity of the individual samples within a limestone unit was then used to determine the overall purity of that particular limestone unit. Table 2 shows all of the limestone units classified according to their purity. Not all parts of the areas on the map contain limestone of the purity indicated, although this is highly likely. It is possible that some small areas will be of different quality because of alteration, intense fracturing and faulting, and natural geological variation. Therefore this map is a guide to the quality but it is not a substitute for a ground survey that would be an essential part of resource estimation. In addition, the samples were classified according to a dolomite purity scheme (a modified version of the limestone purity scheme which uses the same chemical components). Dolomite is composed of the mineral dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate, CaMg(CO3)2). High purity dolomite has a dolomite content greater than 97%, a calcium oxide (CaO) content greater than 29.5%, magnesia (MgO) content greater than 21.2%, less than 0.6% silica (SiO2) and less than 0.1% iron oxide (Fe2O3). Locations where high purity dolomite was found to occur are indicated on the map with a purple star. Limestone has important uses in cement manufacture , as crushed rock aggregate, as a building stone, as an industrial mineral in the steel, glass, chemical, paper and plastics industries, and also in agriculture. Currently most of the limestone quarried in the UAE is for construction material such as crushed rock aggregate, rip rap (for civil engineering projects), lime and cement manufacture. High-purity limestone, as calcium carbonate, is mostly imported from Iran, Jordan, Greece, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In 2008, 170, 000 tonnes of calcium carbonate was imported into the UAE at a cost of US$17 million. This map was produced as part of the study of the ‘High purity limestone resources of the UAE’ which was carried out in 2008 to 2011 and was funded by the UAE Ministry of Energy. This map was produced as part of the study 'High purity limestone resources of the UAE' carried out in 2008 to 2011, funded by the UAE Ministry of Energy.

Item Type: Publication - Map
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > BGS Corporate
Scale: 1:100 000
Geographical Extent: Northern Emirates, UAE
Projection: Nahrwan 1967
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item can be purchased from Ministry of Energy Department of Geology and Mineral Resources PO Box 59 - Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Phone +971 26262288/6126500 Fax +971 26272291/6274612 email:
Additional Keywords: limestone, dolomite, United Arab Emirates, resource map, industrial minerals
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 31 Aug 2012 12:01 +0 (UTC)

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