The Soil Remineralization Forum


Tel: +44 (0) 1292 44 00 00   |   Email:

Image description

Soil Remineralization and Rockdust Concepts

Rockdust is a generic term applied to fine materials produced as by-products of quarrying and mineral
processing. The concept is that a multitude of natural minerals can be beneficially applied to soils as crushed rocks (rockdusts).  Advocates consider that modern agriculture and long term climatic factors have depleted many minerals from weathered soils.   Modern agriculture tends to concentrate on applying only a small range of fertilisers with a narrow band of minerals.  Rockdusts are considered to enhance soil "health" and can also be co-utilized with composts and digestates.   Claimed benefits include :

  • enhanced long term sustainable soil fertility and diverse soil biology;
  • multi-season effects;
  • enhanced plant establishment, growth and vigour;
  • compatibility with organic farming practices;
  • enhancement of flavour, aroma and shelf-life of produce;
  • high dry matter content, drought resistance, nutritional value and some plant disease resistance of plants;
  • in compost, increases in process performance with integrated resource use and carbon sequestration by calcium and magnesium carbonate formation, microfloral accumulation
  • and C-accumulation as soil and crop biomass.

Relatively little research has been undertaken to prove these claims but there is now a body of both scientific and circumstantial evidence that is outlined which overall supports the view that the use of rockdusts can contribute to the environment, soil sustainability, agricultural quality and productivity and assist in meeting targets such as those for recycling and the mass-balance of industrial carbon through sequestration. Potential health benefits in terms of quality of food, particularly fruit and vegetables are also relevant.  

There are a number of key individuals and groups developing the concept through research and dissemination.  The SRF supports the development od Soil Remineralization through co-funding research and dissemination of quality peer-reviewed information.   SRF encourages coordinated research which emphasises validated experiments,dissemination and education, particualry :

  • Influence ofrockdusts and soil remineralization on soil quality, carbon life-cycle and sequestration;
  • Minimising fertilizer use by incorporating soil remineralization techniques into conventional and organic agriculture;
  • Assessing optimum plant / rockdust-type and user conditions;
  • Assessing long-term dietary benefits associated with mineral content of crops from rockdust-amended soils and
  • Holistic resource use through precision-farming and cost-benefit analysis of rockdust-associated industries.

Remineralization Projects