In many less developed countries, especially in southern Africa, there is a shortage of locally available, low-cost lime. This has serious implications, especially for farming where insufficient application of agricultural lime can lead to soil acidification, with associated aluminium / manganese toxicity and poor crop yields. As part of the UK Government’s programme of technical aid to developing countries, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has recently carried out a project ‘Local development of affordable lime in southern Africa’, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). The objective was to encourage lime production by matching suitable carbonate resources with appropriate production technology to provide a method for the establishment of local production sites. The project focused on Zambia, where there are widespread resources of limestone potentially suitable for use as aglime, but consumption of aglime is low due to poor local availability and high costs of transportation. Recommendations arising from the project for the small-scale production of lime involve the use of contract extraction, manual crushing and mechanical grinding. Trials showed that effective milling could be successfully accomplished using a Zambian-built hammer mill
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