Limestone is a sedimentary rock, formed by inorganic remains, such as shells or skeletons, that have compressed for a very long time. The main element found in limestone is calcium carbonate but it may contain magnesium, iron or manganese as well, which affect the whiteness and hardness.
In Peninsular Malaysia, limestone major occurrences are in the Klang Valley, the Kinta Valley, Kedah-Perlis (including the Langkawi Islands), Kelantan (Gua Musang area), and Pahang. In recent site investigations, Tangkak area, Johor is underlain by extensive limestone bedrock, as revealed by boreholes drilled for the North-South Expressway. The Second Link Crossing joining Johor to Singapore is also underlain by extensive limestone bedrock. Similarly, Tuas region and others in Singapore Island also have limestone bedrock.
Sabah and Sarawak (Mulu Caves and the Niah Caves) have extensive limestone formations occurring in the forms of numerous limestone hills and bedrock.
Statistics and General Information available
Production of limestone in 2012 is estimated to have increased to 36,000,000 tonnes from 21,832,159 tonnes produced in 2011.
In 2012, lime, cement and fabricated construction materials exported (RM935.6 million). The major export destinations were Singapore, Japan and Indonesia.
In 2009, Malaysia exported 607,411 tonnes of limestone flux or ground calcium carbonate (GCC) valued at RM81,998,000 and the amount increased to 630,067 tonnes with a value of RM85,848,766 in 2010. The blocks of raw limestone are shipped out at RM60 a tonne because minerals are allowed to be sold overseas without imposing export duties. Once the raw limestone reaches its destinations, it is processed and value-added, turning it into products that can fetch as high as RM390 a tonne.
The quarrying, crushing and breaking of limestone industry recorded the gross output of RM530.3 million or 17.9 per cent and generated value added of RM219.7 million (20.2 per cent). Despite the small amount of gross output, this industry recorded the largest value of fixed assets of RM408.5 million (34.5 per cent) of the entire sub-sector.
The Malaysian-Singapore joint venture project with investments of RM71 million to produce and supply high calcium high re-activity industrial lime products such as hydrated lime, quicklime, calcium carbonate powder and lime slurry to diverse industries. About 95 per cent of the production will be supplied to the domestic market.
limestone constituted 15 per cent quarried of the total aggregates.
Reserves of limestone in Malaysia are fairly abundant. According to the Jabatan Mineral Dan Geosains Malaysia (JMG), there are some 12,000 million tonnes of limestone reserves located throughout the states of Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak. It was estimated there is over 10 billion tonnes of limestone resources throughout the country.