- Microbrite (Micronised Feldspar)
Microbrite is a milled crystalline anhydrous alkali aluminium silicate. The native ore occurs naturally as orthoclase, microline and albite pegmatites. The ore is mined in opencast operations in the Limpopo Province. In a specialised beneficiation procedure, the product is separated, washed, refined and milled to create an end-product which is clean and white, with a low iron content.
Microbrite's properties include high dry brightness, hardness, heat stability, high bulking value, ease of dispersion and inertness. This renders the product suitable as a reinforcing filler and extender in a wide range of applications. These include paints, plastics, rubber, coatings, adhesives, soap and oleo-chemical based formulations such as polish and rubbing compounds. As a result of it's chemical make-up. Microbrite is an idea flux and particularly suited for use in ceramic glazes, frits and bodies.
- Mica (Muscovite)
Mica is a platelet or lamellar structured mineral, generally described as potassium aluminium phyllosilicate. Mica in its native form occurs in the presence of pegmatites and is mined in pod-like outcroppings.
In a specialised delamination process the native muscovite ore is reduced in size, ensuring that each individual flake achieves an optimal aspect ratio. This property makes mica an excellent functional reinforcing filler and extender with a wide array of industrial applications in products such as: paints, coatings, rubber, adhesives, welding electrodes, thermosetting and thermoplastic polymers, gypsum- and cement-based plasters and boards.
- Talc (Pyrophyllite and Magnesium Silicaceous)
Talc is a soft, inert, lamellar mineral which typically occurs as magnesium silicate. It exhibits exceptional purity, whiteness and chemical stability, thus providing the ideal properties of a carrier and functional extender. Typical applications include high performance paints and coatings, rubber, thermosetting and thermoplastic polymers, waxes, body fillers, slip agents, mould release agents and flow aids. It is also used as a white pigment and calcined clay substitute.
Cosmetic and sterilised pharmaceutical grade Talc is used in body powders, cosmetic base ingredients, tablets and other pharmaceuticals.
- This phyllosilicate group of hydrated laminar industrial minerals includes vermiculite and phlogopite, which are aluminium iron magnesium silicates, similar inappearance to muscovite (mica).
Micronized's vermiculite is used in animal feed and medicinals as an absorbent and diluent in, paper, paints and coating. It's also used as a functional filler and extender for cement- and gypsum-based aggregates.
When subject to heat vermiculite has the unusual characteristic of exfoliating or 'popping up'. This is due to inter-lamellar steam generation. Exfoliated vermiculite is used as a fertiliser carrier, a soil conditioner and a growing medium in hydroponics. It is also used as an effective thermal insulation medium in both the construction, domestic and foundry industries. Additional uses include absorbing and as a carrier of liquid additives, binder, anti-caking agent, and as a digestive aid in animal feed.
Industrial applications include: lightweight aggregates, domestic and industrial insulation, and in the packaging of volatile liquids.
- Quartz (Silica)
Quartz (silicon dioxide / silica) is the most common of all minerals. Its natural occurrence is widespread and abundant as it forms some 12% of the earth's crust. Quartz, which has the chemical composition SiO2, exists in varying degrees of purity throughout the world. Quartz crystals are mined by underground and open-cast methods, generally in druse fissure pegmatites. Once mined the ore is washed, sorted and dried. The ore is further reduced in size and then milled in a specialised procedure.
Quartz' uses are vast and varied. Its metallurgical applications (where it is reduced to silicon metal) include the production of ferrosilicons and silica-based refractories as well as its role as an essential raw material in the production of glass and ceramic materials. The micronised form, to a lesser degree, sees use as a filler in adhesive, paint and coating applications. It is also an ingredient in scouring powders and core sands for foundries. Furthermore it has a well-established application as a reinforcing aggregate in construction products.
Kaolin is a lamellar aluminium phyllosilicate. The native ore occurs naturally in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and is mined in surface operations. The beneficiation procedure sees the raw ore separated, refined and milled to produce a clean, off-white end-product with a low iron content. The processed Kaolin is soft with a low specific gravity.
Kaolin is used in paints and coatings, paper, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agriculture, rubber and ceramics.