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What is dolomite rock used for?

A large number of colorful dolomite products appear on sale: hot coasters, jars for bulk products, vases. It became interesting and I wanted to find out what kind of material this is – dolomite.

Dolomite: why such a name?

Dolomite is named after the French geologist and mineralogist Déodat de Dolomieu, who first described the rock in 1791. He studied places located in the Italian Alps and noticed that the rock that forms these mountains was different from ordinary limestone. Later, in honor of Deodat de Dolomier, this rock was named dolomite.

Dolomite deposits

  • West Sayanskoe deposit – located in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, characterized by high quality rock;
  • Kuznetskoye – located in the Kemerovo region, eastern Siberia. This is the largest occurrence of dolomite rock in Russia;
  • Petergofskoe in the Leningrad region, not far from St. Petersburg, raw materials from there are used for the production of chalk;
  • Ural deposits – there are several large deposits of dolomite rock, including in the Perm region;
  • Caucasian, located on the territory of the Republic of Dagestan, large reserves of dolomite, used in construction and industry, are concentrated here.

This is not a complete list of dolomite deposits in Russia, but the largest and most famous.

Natural properties of dolomite

Dolomite is a carbonate rock composed primarily of the mineral dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2) and other minerals such as calcite, clays and quartz.

The main natural properties of dolomite:

  • Color: white to gray, but can be yellow, brown and red;
  • hardness: usually 3,5 to 4 on the Mohs scale, which characterizes it as a soft rock;
  • density: from 2,8 to 2,9 g/cm³ – it is a porous natural stone;
  • chemical properties: dolomite is slightly soluble in water and acids.

Application of dolomite

People use dolomite in various industries: for the production of cement, ceramics, glass, in agriculture, for the construction of roads, reservoirs, as a raw material for the production of construction and finishing mixtures, from it flux is obtained, which is necessary in metallurgy. It is also widely used in landscape design as a material for laying paths and decorative walls.

Here are the main examples where dolomite is used:

  1. Clay production. Dolomite is used as an ingredient for the production of clay, which is then used to create various items such as dishes and ceramics. The addition of dolomite makes the clay more flexible and allows it to form more easily.
  2. Fire resistant materials. Dolomite rocks are used as the main component for the production of fire-resistant products such as heat-resistant bricks and slabs. Due to its high strength and fire resistance, dolomite is an ideal material for creating fire-resistant products.
  3. Construction Materials. Dolomite flour is used for the production of dry plaster, cement and concrete mixtures, as well as for the creation of bricks and blocks.
  4. Agrochemistry. Serves as an additive in the production of soil fertilizer, as it contains a lot of calcium and magnesium, which are essential elements for plants. Adding dolomite powder to the soil increases its acidity and improves its structure, which has a positive effect on plant growth.
  5. Water treatment. It is used for iron removal and water disinfection. It has high absorbent properties, which allows it to remove contaminants such as iron, manganese and other chemical impurities from water.

Use in construction

Dolomite has found wide application in construction and the production of building materials due to its unique properties. Some of the most common uses of dolomite in this area are:

  • Cement and lime production: dolomite is the most important ingredient in the production of cement and lime;
  • production of building blocks and bricks: dolomite powder can be used as a filler in the production of finishing bricks and blocks;
  • production of reinforced concrete: after crushing dolomite minerals, it is dried in special ovens to obtain dolomite flour, which can be used in the manufacture of reinforced concrete structures;
  • decorative material: actively used (slabs, finishing blocks) for cladding walls, facades, creating panels and bas-reliefs;
  • glass production: dolomite powder is necessary in glass production, where it is used as a blowing agent;
  • road and bridge construction is the main material used as a filler for asphalt mixtures and concrete in the construction of roads and bridges.

Dolomite facing slabs

Dolomite facing slabs are decorative stone sheets that are used for finishing interiors and exteriors. Dolomite stone is a popular material for the production of such slabs due to its unique properties and aesthetic appearance.

Advantages of facing slabs:

  1. Dolomite stone looks beautiful and has distinctive natural textures and shades that make each slab unique. The facing slab fits perfectly into any style of interior and exterior.
  2. Dolomite is one of the strongest stones, which ensures the durability and reliability of facing slabs made from this material.
  3. Resistance to external factors. This breed initially has high resistance to moisture, temperature changes, ultraviolet radiation and other adverse environmental factors. Such advantages make it possible to use dolomite slabs for external cladding of buildings.
  4. Dolomite rock is a natural material and does not contain harmful impurities, therefore slabs made from this material are absolutely safe for health and environmentally friendly.
  5. Dolomite cladding slabs can be easily laid on any surface, making installation quick and simple.

Dolomite facing slabs are not only beautiful, but also reliable finishing materials. They can be used as decoration not only for buildings, but also for facades, walls, colonnades, bars, and fireplaces.

Dolomite crockery

Dolomite dishes are represented by cups, mugs, plates, pots, coasters, decorative salt shakers and sugar bowls. The advantages of such dishes:

  1. Organic material is a natural element that does not contain chemical additives and is safe for health.
  2. Dolomite cookware does not contain heavy metals, which can be released into food when heated and lead to poisoning.
  3. Heat resistance. The products can withstand high temperatures and do not deteriorate (without cracks) due to sudden temperature changes. Therefore, dolomite cookware is ideal for preparing hot dishes.
  4. Strength. Dolomite cups and plates withstand impacts and do not break down during everyday use.
  5. Aesthetics. Dolomite tableware has a unique appearance, which further emphasizes naturalness and environmental friendliness.
  6. Good thermoregulation. Such dishes heat up evenly, which allows you to preserve the taste and aroma of the dish.
  7. Easy to care for. The products are easy to clean and do not absorb smell or taste, which makes them convenient and hygienic to use.

Dolomite is a multi-purpose material that is successfully used in various areas of the national economy and industry.

Dolomite is a mineral, a double carbon dioxide salt of calcium and magnesium. Isomorphic impurities of iron and manganese (up to several percent) are characteristic.

Chemical composition

Calcium oxide (CaO) 30,4%, magnesium oxide (MgO) 21,7%, carbon dioxide (CO2) 47,9%;
The crystal structure of dolomite is characterized by the fact that calcium and magnesium ions alternate along a triple axis. According to the IMA, dolomite was described by HB Saussure (1792).


Forms well-faceted crystals of rhombohedral habit; crystal faces are often curved and (or) have a block-mosaic structure. Unlike calcite, dolomite usually has rhombohedrons (1011), usually with saddle-shaped curved faces. Spherocrystals, spherulites, coarse-, fine- and cryptocrystalline granular (often porous), kidney-shaped-spherulite, cellular aggregates and veinlets are also found. Sometimes in the form of oolitic accumulations.

In cold HCl it dissolves slowly, in heated HCl it dissolves faster (with strong boiling); in contrast to calcite, which boils violently already in cold HCl.

Mineral varieties

  • Brossite is a ferruginous variety of dolomite containing up to 10% siderite component (Fe2+CO3).
  • Greinerite is a pink-colored, manganese-bearing variety of dolomite named after its discovery in Greiner Mountain, Italy.
  • Gurhofian is a microcrystalline variety of dolomite.
  • Cobalt dolomite (Ca,Mg,Co)CO3 is a cobalt variety of dolomite discovered in the Příbram ore field in the Czech Republic, containing about 5.17% CoO.
  • Mangandolomite (manganoan dolomite) is a manganese-containing variety of dolomite with an admixture of manganese of more than 20%.
  • Plumbodolomite is a variety enriched with lead.
  • Taraspite is a banded variety of green dolomite with an admixture of nickel and iron.
  • Teruelite is a type of black dolomite, named after its location in the province of Teruel, Spain.
  • Ferrodolomite (ferroan dolomite) is a type of dolomite that contains Fe2+.

Dolomite is formed during diagenesis or hydrothermal metasomatism of limestones; by precipitation from mineralized sources; during regional metamorphism (formation of marbles and calciphyres); found in hydrothermal veins; carbonatites; ultramafic rocks.

Place of Birth

Dolomite is a natural material that is widely used in construction. According to its characteristics, this mineral resembles limestone, but differs from it in strength and wear resistance.

In the natural environment, dolomite is found as a yellowish or white compound with a crystalline structure. Its deposits are always located next to layers of clay and limestone. But for formation, salt water (sea, lake) is required.

Dolomite is found throughout the world. In Russia, deposits and manifestations of dolomite are distributed along the western and eastern slopes of the Urals, on the Volga coast, and on the Kola Peninsula. Dolomite is also found in Austria, England, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, USA, and Switzerland.


Dolomite is widely used in construction; in the production of binders; thermal insulating materials; as a refractory material and flux in metallurgy; in the chemical industry.

Builders have used dolomite since ancient times. The white stone temples of Ancient Rus’ were built from it.

Nowadays, dolomite is used as a raw material in the production of cement and gypsum powders, glass production and the production of rubber products. It produces materials for insulation, roofing and insulation. And dolomite with large inclusions of shell rock and tuff can be used for the construction of walls of small buildings and for decorative finishing.

The facade, made of dolomite, can be either faceted or polished. Tiles of volumetric texture with a natural pattern give the walls a touch of antiquity and, at the same time, look solid and neat. Polished tiles look ambitious and elegant. For grinding, a mineral of the highest hardness is taken.

After additional processing, dolomite becomes similar to granite or marble. They can imitate these expensive materials when decorating grand staircases, ramps and window sills. This mineral is stronger than marble, and that is why polished dolomite tiles are used to lay the floors in shopping centers.

If you need to restore or simply update a house, then they take dolomite slabs (slabs of very large dimensions and thickness) and simply line the façade and basement of the old building with them.

Properties of the Mineral

Color Grayish-white with a yellowish, brownish, less often greenish tint, pink, cream, colorless
Line color white
Origin of the name named after the French geologist and mineralogist D. Dolomieu / Deodat Guy Tancrede Gratet de Dolomieu (1750-1801).
IMA status valid, first described before 1959 (before IMA)
Chemical formula CaMg[CO 3 ] 2
Brilliance glass
Transparency transparent
shines through
Cleavage perfect by
Kink conchoidal
Hardness 3,5
Thermal properties It doesn’t melt, it cracks.
Luminescence Some samples fluoresce in either SW or LW UV. there is a glow under mechanical influence (triboluminescence).
Typical impurities Fe,Mn,Co,Pb,Zn
Strunz (8th edition) 5/B.03-10
Hey’s CIM Ref. 11.4.6
Dana (7th edition)
Dana (8th edition)
Molecular weight 184.40
Cell Options a = 4.8012(1) Å, c = 16.002 Å
Attitude a:c = 1 : 3.333
Number of formula units (Z) 3
Unit cell volume V 319.45 ų
Twinning Germination twins and polysynthetic
Point group 3 – Rhombohedral
Space group R3
separateness Marked along twinning planes for lamellar twins along and for sliding twins along
Density (calculated) 2.876
Density (measured) 2.84 – 2.86
Refractive indices nω = 1.679 – 1.681 nε = 1.500
Maximum birefringence δ = 0.179 – 0.181
Type single-axis (-)
Optical relief moderate
Selection form The crystals are rhombohedral, tabular. Aggregates are granular, cryptocrystalline, solid porcelain-like, rarely porous, stalactite-like, often crystals with curved, curved edges, making up saddle-shaped aggregates
Classes on taxonomy of the USSR Carbonate
IMA classes Carbonate
Syngonia trigonal
fragility Yes
Literature Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates , Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 208-217.

View the mineral Dolomite in mineral stores

Photo of Mineral

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The Swiss scientist T. Saussure was the first to call the mineral dolomite in 1792 (in honor of the XNUMXth century French geologist D. Dolomieu)

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