Lime sources

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Agricultural lime is any product that is used to increase the pH of soil. In Western Australia, the three main sources are limesand, limestone and dolomitic lime. Application of one of these products is usually the most economical method of ameliorating soil acidity.


Limesand is mined from coastal sand dunes found in various places along the south-west coast (Figure 1 and 2). It is entirely different from the silica sand that is found on beaches around Perth. Limesand is comprised mostly of shell and coral fragments from marine organisms; predominantly calcium carbonate with some magnesium carbonate.

The limesand dunes, which are approximately 10 000 years old, were formed by wind action when sea levels dropped and the exposed limesand was moved inland. The fineness, types of shell and purity varies between deposits. Limesand may be screened at the pit, but this is not necessary with some particularly pure deposits.

Limesand mine near Dongara.
Figure 1 Limesand mine near Dongara
Close-up of agricultural limesand from a pit near Dongara.
Figure 2 Close-up of agricultural limesand from a pit near Dongara

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