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Georgia Kaolins: Geology and Utilization

Authors: Jessica Elzea Kogel et al
Published by Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration - 2002
96 pages

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Kaolin is a naturally occurring white clay that is used in a variety of commercial applications ranging from paper coating to brick making. Kaolin mining has developed into a significant industry. Each year, approximately 40 million metric tons of the clay are sold worldwide.

This SME handbook examines the science and business of kaolin exploration and production in the southeastern United States where it has been mined for more than a century. This collaborative effort includes contributions from several recognized industry experts who each bring valuable insight. This comprehensive resource offers an in-depth look at the many different disciplines involved in kaolin production, including geology, mining, mineralogy, geochemistry, and microbiology. It’s written to give industry practitioners a better understanding of this versatile material in order to improve exploration, processing, and product quality.

The book summarizes available data on the geology of Georgia kaolin and presents a regional stratigraphic framework as an aid to future mineral exploration, research, and mapping. The text presents an excellent overview of the types and grades of kaolin, their mineralogy, and how these qualities relate to various commercial applications. Finally, it reviews common processing techniques employed to remove impurities and improve kaolin quality.

In addition, the book examines the production and market for muscovite mica, a by-product of kaolin production that is used commercially in various construction materials, paints, plastics, and cosmetics.

This handbook is a valuable reference for geologists, mining engineers, processing plant operators, or anyone involved in the exploration, mining or production of commercial-grade kaolin.

Chapters include:

  • Kaolin Stratigraphy and Its Use in Exploration
  • Kaolin Mineralogy, Quality, and Major Markets
  • Commercial Kaolin Processing
  • Origin of the Georgia-South Carolina Commercial-Grade Kaolins
  • The Role of Microorganisms in the Development of Commercial-Grade Kaolins
  • Commercial-Grade Muscovite Mica from Kaolin Waste Materials

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