The Americas high-purity limestone market size is poised to reach USD 1.3 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., progressing at a CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period. Increasing metallurgical operations in North America are projected to drive the market.
According to the World Steel Association, North America witnessed large-scale utilization of steel for national security and military operations in 2016. Energy infrastructure including petroleum refineries, storage tanks, electricity, electrical power & distribution transformers, power generating plants, and utility distribution poles also use steel. In the transportation sector, steel is used for development of highways, railroads, bridges, mass transit systems, seaports, airports, and navigation systems. In 2017, the U.S. industry observed an increase in steel shipments. The steel apparent consumption in the U.S. increased by nearly 2,039.9 kilotons from 2016 to 2017.
Cement manufacturers require a variety of raw materials and fuels including high-purity limestone, clay, and coal. Cement companies that have their own quarries or mines are likely to witness a stable supply of limestone-related products, which is the primary raw material used for cement manufacturing. Suppliers are engaged in business with major customers in the construction and retail industries that require end-use products such as cement and concrete.
Process integration is relevant among players present in the market. Players, such as Graymont Limited; Carmeuse; Lhoist; Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co., Ltd.; United States Lime & Minerals, Inc.; Nittetsu Mining Co., Ltd.; and Minerals Technologies Inc., are engaged in mining, crushing, and production of downstream products related to the limestone sector.
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High-purity limestone is susceptible to various challenges during its processing depending on exclusive deposits as well as mode of processing applied. Unlike other minerals, processing high-purity limestone into its pelletized form can pose challenges. Dust issues & clumping, abrasion, and varying composition are some of the issues that can occur during processing of limestone. Abrasion may occur during drying of limestone. Heavy-duty rotary dryers are generally used to counter abrasive properties of raw limestone and for adding custom features such as specialized linings.
Further key findings from the report suggest:
- The construction segment is anticipated to reach USD 282.2 million by 2025, rising at a CAGR of 6.6% over the forecast period owing to increasing construction spending on social infrastructure in Americas
- In terms of revenue, the water & wastewater segment is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 7.2% over the forecast period
- Metallurgical application dominated the Americas high-purity limestone market and accounted for a revenue share of 44.2% in 2017. Increasing production and sales volume of automobiles in the region has been fueling the demand for metal products, which in turn is expected to spur the growth of the market
- The Central & South America high-purity limestone market is likely to reach 14,450.2 kilotons by 2025
- In terms of revenue, North America is poised to witness a significant CAGR of 7.1% over the forecast period. Increasing construction spending in countries including Canada and Mexico is projected to stimulate market growth in this region.
- Some of the key companies present in the market are Graymont Limited; Carmeuse; Lhoist; Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co., Ltd.; United States Lime & Minerals, Inc.; Nittetsu Mining Co., Ltd.; and Minerals Technologies Inc.
Crushed limestone is majorly used as an ingredient in the manufacturing of Portland cement clinker. High-purity limestone with sand, water, and other aggregates is finely ground, blended into proportions, and then heated to a temperature of 2,640 degrees Fahrenheit for producing cement clinkers. These clinkers are further ground into cement.
Rising number of roadway projects, new manufacturing plants, and development of large corporate offices will stir up the demand for cement. In addition, increased government investments in development of projects encompassing public transit as well as green & social infrastructure are estimated to further fuel the demand for cement. This, in turn, is expected to stimulate the growth of the market.
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High-purity limestone is largely utilized in metallurgical operations. For instance, it is used as a fluxing material in the steel manufacturing sector for removing impurities such as phosphorus, silica, and sulfur. Moreover, the product is extensively utilized during iron extraction for removal of impurities.
Steel is considered as the backbone of the U.S. manufacturing industry and is a key material for downstream producers in the automotive, rail, container, energy, appliance, and machinery & equipment industries. The health & public safety infrastructure sector uses steel in the development of dams & reservoirs, public water supply systems, waste & sewage treatment facilities, and in residential construction.
According to a 2017 report published by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, nearly 17 Million vehicles were produced in North America in the same year. Growing focus on manufacturing of lightweight vehicles to meet fuel economy is likely to boost the consumption of advanced high-strength steels. This trend, in turn, is poised to fuel the demand for high-purity limestone in the region.
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The metallurgical segment commanded the leading revenue as well volume share in the Americas high-purity limestone market in 2017. In the metallurgical industry, limestone-related products are used to remove impurities when metals are refined from their ores. Wide spectrum use of metals such as steel & aluminum in industries such as construction, automotive, energy, transport, and packaging is expected to drive the market in the region over the forecast period.
Paper industry utilizes limestone in the form of a causticizing agent as well as for bleaching. The product, when used as a filler in paper manufacturing, enhances whiteness of the paper and consistency as well as opacity of the paper.In pulp mills, it is used in sulfite pulping process as well as Kraft-pulping process.
Grand View Research has segmented the Americas high-purity limestone market on the basis of type, application:
Americas High-Purity Limestone Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; Volume, Kilotons, 2014 – 2025)
Americas High-Purity Limestone Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; Volume, Kilotons, 2014 – 2025)
- Paper & Pulp
- Water & Wastewater
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The crushed segment represented a volume share of approximately 60.0% in 2017. The product is in pulverized form and primarily used for construction. It is available in different shapes as well as sizes, as per its intended application. It can be used to produce concrete, which is a combination of water, sand, cement, and crushed aggregate. Crushed limestone also acts as a base to make roads. The product is frequently used for bedding underground pipes owing to its ability to not contract and expand, thereby preserving the integrity of pipeline.
In building & construction application, high-purity limestone is used for removing impurities in metal refining processes such as smelting. In agricultural application, it can be used to regulate pH levels of the soil and thereby improvise soil conditions for better crop availability.
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