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Application of a rapid methodology for preliminary appraisal of kaolinite deposits

Cetin, Mahir Can
Altun, Naci Emre
An approach that facilitates the mineralogical-compositional analysis and beneficiation-classification procedure was used for fast assessment of the evaluation possibility of kaolin deposits. The approach was applied on two different kaolin deposits from the Aegean region in Turkey. The kaolin samples were characterized using XRD and XRF analyses to determine the key mineralogical characteristics and major components such as Al2O3. The samples were then subjected to the attrition-scrubbing-hydrocycloning procedure to identify the -2 mu m matter yielding potential and undesired +10 mu m particle contents. Through this fast methodology, it was found that Al2O3 content of both deposits were below the acceptable limits and both reserves consisted of alunite as an undesired component in kaolin. The XRD analysis of attrition scrubbing-hydrocycloning products showed the cyclone overflow fractions, which were relatively finer in size, were enriched in terms of kaolinite content. The extent of +10 mu m particles in the cyclone overflows was within acceptable limits for both deposits. However, the critical -2 mu m matter content was found to be extremely low in the cyclone overflows. The findings confirmed the benefit of this fast methodology to make a quick decision regarding the potential of any kaolin deposit: whether to eithr continue with further verifications through specific tests/analyses or to end the assessment in case of an unpromising deposits, as those investigated in this work.