Calcium carbonate is used in an incredible number of ways in our society, from filler materials in paint, paper, and plastics to use in antacid tablets and toothpaste, and can be derived from many sources. The purest calcium carbonate, used in foods and pharmaceuticals, often comes from crushing marble rock. The world’s leading supplier of calcium carbonate is Imerys, headquartered in Paris, France. Imerys mines and processes minerals of all types in locations around the world. One of its domestic calcium carbonate operations is at Marble Hill in the mountains of northwestern Georgia.
The purest calcium carbonate, used in foods and pharmaceuticals, often comes from crushing marble rock
The Marble Hill operation is an underground mine. Imerys does its own drilling and blasting at the site. Marble rock is carried out of the mine and through the use of a crusher is reduced to rock fragments uniform in size. Next, the rock is introduced into a mill and is ground into a fine powder, with grains measuring as small as 3 microns when measured cross-sectional. Finally, the powder is stored in silos awaiting shipment to customers.
Obviously, in a harsh environment such as minerals processing, the performance and reliability of the equipment that produces and handles the powder are critical to Imerys’ business. The company is very selective in choosing suppliers of mechanical components which facilitate the production process. Read the full Imerys case study.