Kaolin – additional information
Kaolinite is a clay mineral that is soft and usually white in color, although it can also be found in red, orange, and yellow tints. Kaolin, also called china clay, are rocks rich in kaolinite. The name was derived from the Chinese word, Kao-Ling, which references the high ridge where this particular type of clay was first discovered. As of 2015, there were almost 320 million tons of proved kaolin reserves in the Guangxi region in China. It is one of the most commonly occurring minerals in the world and occurs in abundance in soils in hot and moist climates. The price of kaolin worldwide has remained fairly stable over the last few years ranging from 137 U.S. dollars per ton in 2010 to 160 U.S. dollars per ton in 2017. Some 11,500 metric tons of kaolin was produced in Austria in 2014. In India, some 4.1 million metric tons of kaolin was produced in the financial year of 2017.
This material is used in for several different purposes, primarily in the paper industry. It is often used as a paper coating to improve the appearance of paper materials through brightening, smoothing, and adding a glossy finish. It is also used to reduce the need for tree-based resources. The United States imported 353,000 metric tons of kaolin for consumption in 2016. Kaolin is also commonly used in china and porcelains due to its hardness and coloring. Commercially used Kaolin is often transported as a dry powder, semi-dry noodle, or liquid slurry.