Kaolin
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KAOLIN. NOT JUST FOR INDIGESTION…. Sue Border. COMMERCIAL KAOLIN. White (white firing) non-swelling clay - Also called “China Clay” Dominantly kaolinite World Production 30mtpa (US$3b) Export markets 9mtpa. USES OF KAOLIN. Papermaking Pigment/Filler/Coating

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Kaolin

KAOLIN

NOT JUST FOR INDIGESTION….

Sue Border


Commercial kaolin

COMMERCIAL KAOLIN

  • White (white firing) non-swelling clay- Also called “China Clay”

  • Dominantly kaolinite

  • World Production 30mtpa (US$3b)

  • Export markets 9mtpa


Uses of kaolin

USES OF KAOLIN

  • Papermaking Pigment/Filler/Coating

  • Pigment in paint/inks High

  • Plastics/Rubber Value

  • Ceramics

  • Mineral FillerLow Value Products

    • Source of Al2O3

      • Refractories


Commercial economics premium grade criteria

Commercial EconomicsPREMIUM GRADE CRITERIA

A high priced Kaolin has :

  • Superior Brightness

  • Superior Whiteness

  • Desired particle size

  • High opacity (good hiding power)

  • Chemical purity

  • Low viscosity (for paper markets)

  • Other properties - abrasivity, conductivity, etc


Pigment markets brightness competitors

Pigment markets - Brightness Competitors

Pigment Price per tonne (A$)

  • TiO2$3500 - $6000

  • CaCO3 $350 - $500

  • Kaolin $200 - $1200

    Kaolin gives good performance for the price


Markets paper demand

Markets - Paper Demand

  • Paper demand increases with GDP

  • Asian paper production to overtake USA by 2010*

    Asia imports Kaolin from:

    GeorgiaBrazilUK

    *Source: Pulp and Paper Magazine


Kaolin

KOREA

JAPAN

CHINA

TAIWAN

CANADA

West Coast

THAILAND

MALAYSIA

USA

INDONESIA

EUROPE AND MIDDLE EAST

PROJECT

LOCATION

AUSTRALIA

TASMANIA

NEW ZEALAND


Kaolin formation

KAOLIN FORMATION

  • Economic deposits mainly weathering related

  • Associated with laterite and bauxite

  • Formed in wet/dry tropical climate

  • Over 1500m rain pa

  • Leaching process


Lateritic weathering

LATERITIC WEATHERING

BAUXITE

IRONSTONE

MOTTLED

PALLID

BEDROCK

--- Highest water

--- Lowest water

Leaching

of

cations


More effective leaching

MORE EFFECTIVE LEACHING

  • More water flow (fresh water & permeability)

  • More time

  • More bugs

  • Acid groundwater (oxidising organics)

    • Parent is only important if time is short or leaching is slow.


Removal of iron

REMOVAL OF IRON

  • Ferrous leached more easily than ferric.

  • Least iron just below lowest water table

  • But leaching is slow below the water table

  • Organic grey kaolins formed here.


Diagenesis of kaolin

DIAGENESIS OF KAOLIN

  • Feldspars & clays kaolinite

  • Kaolinite increases in grain size

  • The perfect kaolin recipe - Formed below water table then raised above it


Sedimentary kaolins

SEDIMENTARY KAOLINS?

  • Cannot separate kaolinite from other clays by sedimentation.

  • All commercial kaolins are formed in situ (Pickering & Hurst 1997)

  • Ball clays? (70% disordered kaolin).


Skardon river kaolin discovery

SKARDON RIVER KAOLIN - discovery….

  • Andrew White in 1985

  • 19 holes

  • 2 in lease

  • Target of “Bulimba” kaolin found;

  • Older weathering kaolin noted.

  • Samples to CSIRO


Skardon river kaolin exploration history pre srk

SKARDON RIVER KAOLIN - exploration history pre SRK

  • 1986 - Drilled 93 holes - geology only

  • 1987 - 1990 Bulk sampling & testwork

  • 1993 - 188 RC holes - geology & ‘clay’

  • 1994 - 10 DD holes

  • 1994 - 97 - Testing selected drill samples

  • 1997 - 207 RC holes - poor control


Mistakes

MISTAKES…..

  • No initial raw values

  • Did not relate metallurgy to geology

  • Poor technical knowledge at board level

  • Moving goal posts

  • Rolls Royce plant

  • Major cost over-runs

  • No coordination of consultants/contractors


Geological history

GEOLOGICAL HISTORY…..

Cretaceous - Marine Shale


Uplift and weathering

Uplift and Weathering...

Claystone

Rolling Downs Formation


Tertiary sheet fluvials

Tertiary Sheet Fluvials

Bulimba Formation


Weathering to bauxite

Weathering to bauxite


Fluvial channel develops

Fluvial Channel Develops

Namaleta Creek Floodplain


Further weathering

Further Weathering…...

K3

Fluvial

Claystone


Claystone mining

Claystone Mining


Conchoidal claystone

Conchoidal claystone


Fluvial in exploration pit

Fluvial in exploration pit


Ml and drilling

Wet Plant

ML and Drilling

DRILLHOLES AND OUTLINE OF FLUVIAL CHANNEL

Green – RC holes

Black – AKL grade control holes


Resources

RESOURCES

Purple – inferred claystone

Grey – measured claystone

Blue – inferred fluvial


Resource summary

Resource Summary

Total 100 years at 75,000tpa.


Skardon kaolin properties

Skardon Kaolin Properties


Skardon product range

Hydrous Kaolins

Plant capacity 75,000 tpa

Wide range of industrial applications

Represents the bulk of world supply

Target of paint & rubber markets

Calcined Kaolins

Plant capacity 75,000 tpa

Higher performance

Better brightness, opacity

Competes with TiO2

Premium price

Limited number of producers

Paint, rubber, paper

Skardon Product Range


Stage 1 processing wet plant

Stage 1 Processing: Wet Plant

Kaolin Ore

Blunger

Degritting Centrifuge

Sand

Decanter Centrifuge

Delaminating Mill, Leaching circuit

Disc-nozzle Centrifuge

Tailings Dam

High Gradient Magnet Separator

Membrane Filter

Pipeline to Dry Plant


Stage 2 processing dry plant

Stage 2 Processing: Dry Plant

Pipeline from Wet Plant

Spray Dryer

Pulveriser

Calcining Kiln

HYDROUS

KAOLIN

Pulveriser

CALCINED

KAOLIN


Major world deposits

MAJOR WORLD DEPOSITS

  • Georgia, USA

  • Amazon, Brazil

  • Cornwall, UK ……….the odd one out

    • Hercynian granite 280mA

    • Debate weathering vs hydrothermal

    • Coarse grained well crystallised kaolin

    • Very limited available resources

    • Product yield 15-20%


Georgia geology

Georgia - Geology

  • Cretaceous and Tertiary bedded kaolins

  • Exposed just south of Fall Line

  • Cap bentonite

  • Cretaceous 60% -2micron

  • Tertiary 85% -2micron


Georgia economics

ADVANTAGES

Two types of kaolin

Expertise

Reputation

Transport for E USA & Europe

DISADVANTAGES

Older updated plants

Mine locations

High stripping ratios

Transport to Asia

Georgia - Economics


Amazon geology

Amazon Geology

  • Under bauxite exposed on slopes.

  • Rio Jari – Pliocene, very fine grained 75% -2 micron. 36m thick deposit.

  • Rio Capim – also Tertiary. Coarser than Jari. Thinner and some grit.


Amazon economics

ADVANTAGES

Fine Kaolin

Modern plant

DISADVANTAGES

Pipeline distance

Transport to Asia

Amazon Economics


Summary of the skardon river kaolin project

Summary of the Skardon River Kaolin Project

  • Long mine life

  • Growing international demand

  • Premium products

  • Exceedingly low CAPEX entry price

  • Best logistics for Asia

  • Marketing and distribution agreements

  • Technical Management Expertise


Kaolin

That’s it folks!


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