The history of this dolomite deposit goes back to the 1st to 6th century A.D. At that time, the Roman Empire built the “Limes” frontier fortifications and already used dolomite for this. Then it was forgotten before being rediscovered and “unearthed” by Ulrich Klösser after some research in the 20th century.
Around 2000 m3 dolomite are extracted here per year and brought to Thuringia. “That’s quite a distance, but is generally contrary to the trend of even importing sought-after stone from abroad.” The company decided to quarry the rock because the very hard and high-quality dolomite is an ideal complement to Langensalz travertine, which has already been extracted for 1000 years in the region. In addition, with workable reserves of 2 mill. m3, the deposit offers a long-term alternative, supplementing the ten other natural rock deposits in limestone and sandstone at Traco GmbH for raw material supply.
The extraction process itself is extraordinary. The now exposed “core material” is cut up with “chain saw machines” that have a 7-m-long blade for taking the dolomite apart. These are similar to oversized chain saws like those used in felling trees. To cope with the high rock hardness, the blades are studded with diamond segments. “These saws can be used very flexibly and deliver the rock in exact blocks without edge slabs with which we can efficiently process quarried rocks,” explains Managing Director Ulrich Klösser.
In a geological assessment, the sworn expert Rainer Weber certified that the Limes dolomite has excellent technical properties. Thanks to the very high magnesium and increased calcium content, this is the only limestone that is absolutely resistant to de-icing salt as well as being weather-resistant and extremely scratch-resistant. As a result, the cleaning requirement and maintenance costs are minimized. As the grey-buff to earthy brown limestone, which belongs to the group of carbonate rocks. has no discoloration risk, it is particularly suitable for facades, floor coverings, walls or stairs, but also park areas and pedestrian zones. “At present, we are already working on over ten projects with dolomite.” The demand was high and the sales currently accounted for 10 % of the total production, said Klösser.