Kaolinite is an industrial mineral belonging to the group of aluminosilicates. The term kaolin is used to describe a group of relatively common clay minerals, primarily kaolinite and is produced by the chemical weathering of aluminium silicate minerals like feldspar. It is a soft, earthy, usually white, mineral (dioctahedral phyllosilicate clay).
Kaolin’s commercial attributes primarily revolve around being chemically inert over a relatively wide pH range, brightness, film strength, whiteness, opacity, gloss, viscosity, low heat and low electrical conductivity, which leads to a diversified range of industrial applications, some of which include:
- Paper coating – to hide the pulp strands
- Ceramics – high fusion temperature and white burning characteristics makes it particularly suitable for the manufacture of whiteware (china), porcelain
- Paints – as an extender and flattening agent
- Rubber – filling rubber to improve its mechanical strength and resistance to abrasion
- Coil Coating
- Colour Pencils
- Cement and Fibreglass
Kaolin is also emerging as a cost effective and environmentally friendly source of Alumina (Al) and can be applied as feedstock in the production of High Purity Alumina (HPA) and commercially versatile synthetic zeolites.
The Abercorn Project has demonstrated it contains a resource of significant scale and a very consistent, high quality grade of kaolinite mineralisation. The resource remains open in all directions with less than circa 10% of the Project area being drilled, leaving potential for substantial future upgrade.
The resource is situated approximately 135km south of the deep-water port of Gladstone and 125km west of the deep-water port of Bundaberg in central Queensland. These major ports are connected to the Abercorn Project by sealed roads and the Burnett Highway bisects the tenements.
Current project highlights include: