These carbonate rocks (dolomite and limestone) are the basic building blocks of the construction industry, the material from which aggregate, cement, lime, and building stone are made. Carbonate rocks, and their derived products, are used as aggregates, fluxes, glass ratio material, refractories, fillers, reactive agents in sulfur-oxide removal, abrasives, soil conditioners, ingredients in a host of chemical processes, and much more. Although, the use of limestone and dolomite goes back before recorded history, new uses and products are continually being found.
Limestone and dolomite are so useful and so abundant that in 1989 about 798 Mt were produced in the United States. In fact, about 75% of all stone quarried or mined in the United States was carbonate rock. Sand and gravel was the only mineral commodity produced in greater quantity.