What does it take for limestone suppliers to take limestone from the ground and turn it into a product that’s ready for construction? In theory, the process is simpler than you may think, although in practice, respected suppliers like Bruhn Limestone go to great lengths to ensure the products they produce are the best in the world.
First, a bit of background on limestone.
Limestone is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock that has been a fundamental building material worldwide for centuries. In Australia, limestone and limestone suppliers have also a long history. You only need to look around towns like Mount Gambier in South Australia, where Bruhn Limestone is based, to see the significance of limestone in construction.
Limestone can be found in many parts of the world and it’s one of the most abundant sedimentary rocks on earth. But because of the way limestone is formed – it’s heavily influenced by geological history and the presence of ancient marine environments – limestone is not found everywhere. Limestone deposits can even vary significantly from region to region.
The birthplace of limestone for construction is the limestone quarry. This is where limestone suppliers take the rock – which is primarily formed through the accumulation of tiny marine organisms’ skeletal fragments and sediment over millions of years – from the ground.
Quarries are carefully selected based on the quality and quantity of limestone reserves they contain. Sustainable quarrying practices prioritise environmental conservation, ensuring the land is restored after extraction.
Bruhn Limestone has been quarrying limestone responsibly for over 80 years. Our limestone is quarried primarily from Mount Gambier in South Australia. We also quarry and supply limestone from Western Australia.
Limestone is removed from quarries using heavy machinery, such as bulldozers, excavators and front-end loaders. In some quarries, drilling and even blasting can be used.
Crafting the raw material
Taking it from the ground is only the first step in the process for limestone suppliers. Before it’s ready for construction it needs to be processed.
Processing can involve several key tasks including:
- Cutting and sawing the large limestone blocks into smaller, manageable sizes.
- Sorting the limestone into the various colours and grades to ensure consistency.
The limestone is then processed into the required blocks, slabs, columns or whatever is required.
How the limestone is processed can depend on the desired result. For example, our limestone blocks are available in ‘plainface’, ‘rockface’ and bevel edge.
Plainface Limestone Blocks
The ‘plainface’ blocks are cut with diamond tip saws to produce a smooth surface.
Rockface Limestone Block
The ‘rockface’ blocks are guillotined to give the surface a unique, slightly rough finish.
Bevel Edge Limestone Block
While the bevel edge is a ‘plainface’ block that has 10mm bevelling on the top and base of the block.
The limestone is then ready for transportation to the building site. In some ways, its journey is complete. Although it’s fair to say the next part of the journey – construction using limestone – is even more exciting for the final customer.
The art of craftsmanship for limestone suppliers
As we said previously, the process of taking limestone from the ground and delivering it ready for construction is relatively simple. However, in practice, limestone suppliers are part heavy lifters, part skilled artisans. Good limestone suppliers take great care to deliver the best quality products to customers.
The journey of limestone from its origins in quarries to its use in construction is a testament to the collaboration between nature’s processes and the craftsmanship of trusted limestone suppliers.