The Moleanos Azul is a grey limestone with a growing demand, in particular from markets like the UK, USA and Middle East. This is light grey / bluish colored limestone, with a slight brownish tonality, medium grain and several brownish fine spots.
Despite its considerable demand, the supply for this limestone is not regular and in most cases does not meet the demand. In reality what is happening is that many distributors, retailers are presenting this as a good alternative grey limestone, when current extraction in quarries is quite irregular. Most Portuguese companies are finding a hard time in accessing this limestone in the quarries, so we can imagine how hard it should be for foreign stone suppliers. There is currently a very irregular extraction in most quarries, which limits supply but does not reduce demand.
We make here a brief analysis about the current situation of this limestone.
The Moleanos Azul limestone is extracted in the exact same quarries as the well-known Moleanos Classic beige limestone, which is the main variation of the Moleanos limestone. The vast majority of the reserves available and that are normally extracted in the quarries are of beige color, however a marginal quantity of blue colored Moleanos shows up occasionally. And some of the blocks extracted are just blue, while others are a mix of blue and beige.
Like the Moleanos Classic beige limestone, the Moleanos Azul can present some variations. These variations depend on the grain thickness, hardness and if it has any beige color mixed. Both fine and medium grain variations have considerable demand, as long as color is completely blue. The trend is for Moleanos Azul with pure blue color, without any beige mixed, or as little as possible (as pictures shown above)
Just like the Moleanos Classic, the Moleanos Azul is a fairly hard limestone that can be used on both interior and exterior applications. It is common to find this limestone on both flooring, coverings, cladding, as well as some masonry and decoration applications.
Future of the limestone
There are today few limestone with similar characteristics as the Moleanos Azul, with such hardness, look and uniform grey color. Its appearance is very appreciated by decorators and architects, and is today a first choice for several projects. The only challenge that this limestone faces is that its supply is erratic, unpredictable and does not meet the current demand levels.
The Moleanos Azul is now and will become increasingly an exclusive limestone, with limited supply, much higher price, which will be recommended for smaller and exclusive projects. For the time-being, it will probably continue to be a highly demanded natural stone at an affordable price.
The US Embassy project in Mauritania is another fine example of Portuguese
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