Purple icon of cityscape

Limestone quarry near Cadomin, Alberta

Limestone quarry near Cadomin, Alberta

Fist-sized piece of limestone with patches of white calcite crystals

Fist-sized piece of grey limestone from near Abraham Lake, Alberta. The white patches are the mineral calcite.



Limestone is made of calcium carbonate. Dolomite is made of calcium magnesium carbonate.

Age and Formation

Throughout the last billion years, much of Alberta was covered by an ocean. The ancient lime-rich ocean sea floor and coral reefs are preserved as limestone and dolomite. These rocks are mined in the Foothills and Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains, and near Fort McMurray. The limestone and dolomite that is commercially produced ranges in age from 323 - 393 million years old, to 497 - 541 million years old.

Important properties

Limestone and dolomite are strong, tough, and abundant. The rocks have a basic chemistry, are easily separated into their molecular components, and crushable to any desired size. 


Limestone and dolomite are common building stones, and may be crushed into sand, gravel, and boulders for construction purposes. Limestone is processed into quicklime, a component of cement. The rocks are also used to make fluxes, soil conditioners, abrasives, and glass. Desulfinators and neutralizers for cleaning industrial waste are also made of limestone and dolomite. Alberta is a long time producer of limestone and dolomite.


It’s a Fact!

Many of the steep-faced, or castle-shaped, mountains you see while driving through Banff and Jasper National Parks are made of limestone and dolomite.


How cement is made at a plant in Exshaw, Alberta

Documentary about Castleguard Cave, Alberta, Canada's Longest Cave

Webcam of Turtle Mountain, Alberta

Where to find limestone & dolomite

Map of Alberta showing where to find limestone and dolomite in the Rockies and in northeastern Alberta