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Caliche is a white or ivory-colored substance that occurs in cement-like layers in small deposits in semi-arid climates and deserts. Caliche is formed when ground water charged with calcium carbonate, rises through the soil and evaporates, leaving behind the calcium carbonate.

The layers, which can be from a few inches to many feet thick, may appear near the surface. Caliche is usually mined from surface mines, otherwise known as Caliche pits. These “surface mines” are governed by MSHA the “Mine Safety & Health Administration”.

Caliche is also known by other names, such as hardpan, calcrete, and duricrust. Hardpans do not soften when exposed to water.

The word caliche is Spanish, but comes from the Latin word calx, which means limestone. But exactly what is caliche? It's not rock, although I have come across some rather large rock specimens bound in it. It's not really dirt either. It's sort of something in between.

Known to scientists as calcium carbonate, it is used in the manufacturing process of plastics, rubber, coatings, paper, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, feeds, and...who would’ a guessed.. concrete. It is also highly desirable in pads for foundations, roadbeds for asphalt and concrete and stands alone as an excellent covering for roads and driveways.

Presser Construction’s sister company NexGen Paving has their own caliche mines. NexGen mines and crushes the best grades of this resource for our combined customers.