Seven areas in Alberta, close to transportation facilities, were studied to determine quality and reserves of high-calcium limestone.
Three formational units in the foothills and mountain regions are of importance. The lower Cambrian Eldon Formation has a limited potential in the Exshaw area where it was previously exploited for limemaking. The Upper Devonian Palliser Formation contains large reserves of high-grade rock in the Crowsnest, Exshaw, Cadomin, and Brûlé areas. At one time a lime plant operated successfully at Cadomin, utilizing rock from this formation. Present production of Palliser limestone at Exshaw and Cadomin is used for cement- making. The Mississippian Livingstone Formation is of proven high quality in the Crowsnest, Blairmore, Exshaw, and Nordegg areas. Formerly a cement plant operated at Blairmore, utilizing limestone from this formation; new quarries have been opened in the Crowsnest and Exshaw areas to supply lime plants.
Quality of foothills and mountain limestone deposits is often lowered by the presence of siliceous and dolomitic beds. Compositional variation is a particular problem in the Livingstone Formation.
Near Fort McMurray, in northeastern Alberta, the large resources of limestone in the Moberly Member of the Upper Devonian Waterways Formation appear to be of moderate quality. The calcium carbonate grades are affected in places by an abundance of silica and alumina.
Holter, M.E. (1975): Limestone resources of Alberta; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Economic Geology Report 4, 100 p.