Rockdust is powdered rock that helps give plants extra minerals (such as silica for strong leaves and stems), trace minerals, calcium, iron etc. They can increase the soil pH somewhat, too. Rockdust is not fertilizer, as it does not directly contain the required amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus. However, it is said to contribute to soil bacteria that does make the soil more fertile, and whether or not it's fertilizer, it still helps plants to get bigger, stronger and healthier (it also helps to increase yields)—at least if all the reviews and articles I've read are correct.
The rock dusts of which I am familiar include Azomite, Agrowinn, basalt rock dust, glacial rock dust and diatomaceous earth (which usually isn't thought of as rockdust, but it kind of classifies). If you know any others, please add them to the list.
Here's what I know already:
Azomite: It has a fair amount of silica (more than basalt rock dust, but probably less than diatomaceous earth; it's not the same kind of silica that is in sand, however, but I think silicon dioxide): about 65% silica. It has lots of positive reviews online, and it is probably the most popular rockdust with conventional gardeners. A post I saw on a forum (and its comments) indicates that it might be radioactive (gamma); the Azomite website has tested the alpha and beta (and claims it's not radioactive), but they have not tested for gamma radiation. Azomite comes from a unique source (volcanic ash) in Utah, unlike any other area in the world, they say. I believe I've heard that Azomite (if not rockdust at large) is good for helping to revive suffering trees.
Agrowinn: This is another commercial rockdust. It has some claims over Azomite, but I don't really know much about it. I've seen it recommended that you reapply it regularly (which seems against the grain of other rock dusts—tell me if I'm wrong).
Glacial rock dust: This is said to have more pollutants than volcanic rock dust (such as basalt), but a lot of people seem to like it.
Basalt rock dust: Some sources say basalt rock dust is the optimal kind of rockdust, and I've never heard anyone deny that directly. It has less silica than Azomite and diatomaceous earth, for sure. It is higher in other minerals, however. It is said to be high in ferrous minerals. I've seen differing compositions listed for basalt rockdust. The silica content is probably (not sure) between 20 to 50% of its composition, which means it must have a lot more of something else if it has so much less silica. Basalt can be significantly different colors. I imagine the darker basalts probably have more iron or something than the lighter ones.
Food grade diatomaceous earth: It's about 85% amorphous silica (the amount depends on what brand you get). It has some trace elements, aluminum and such. It's the only thing like a rockdust that I've actually used. I'm guessing that other than the silica, most other rockdusts are better for plants. However, the silica is not to be underestimated (however, other rockdusts have lots of silica, too; just not usually as much). I've personally used this more for other purposes than gardening (like eating it to cure food intolerances; yes, it actually worked for me there, although it had a negative affect on my short-term memory for a while, and made me constipated, probably due to heavy metal chelation). I've used it a little as an insecticide in an attempt to keep cutworms off my tomatoes. It helped some, but not all the time (perhaps it didn't when wet). Aphids didn't seem bothered by it, particularly. I'm speculating here, but rather than sprinkling it on the plant base, mixing a larger amount with the soil might be more helpful for cutworms. However, another solution (such as beneficial predatory insects) could probably be much better (for cutworms and aphids, that is).
Granite rockdust: I've heard you can get this for free from a local rock quarry. The same might be true for certain other kinds of rockdust. If you get it from a quarry, make sure they haven't been using harmful chemicals and stuff in their work.
Agricultural lime: This isn't thought of as rockdust, really. It's mostly to increase soil PH (or lower acidity). It has lots of calcium in it.
Greensand: This isn't really thought of as rockdust, either. I think it applies a lot of a few certain minerals. I think this increases potassium in the soil. It contains glauconite (which by itself may lower soil PH, but I don't know if greensand does, particularly).
Hornfels rockdust: I've only barely heard of this.
Anyway, I'm not looking for someone to say, "This rockdust is the best kind, or this is better than that."
What are some more attributes of various rock dusts and what are the pros and cons? I'm sure they all have pros and cons. That's what I want to know. I know I've listed a lot already, but I'd like to know more. I will probably pick the most thorough and informative answer (unless it's just a really good one that surprises me).
EDIT: This question only pertains to rockdust (not other remineralizers or soil amendments). If it's powdered rock of any kind, I'll count that (whether or not it's commonly referred to as rockdust).