The Micronized SA group of companies sees a joint collaboration between two of it’s operating businesses, Micronized Products (Pty) Ltd and Pegmin (Pty) Ltd in becoming the leading Mica mineral processor in Southern Africa.
Micronized has developed a proprietary process that now allows it to liberate the Mica component (also known as Muscovite) from its two bigger brothers, Feldspar and Silica Quartz, at its Limpopo operations near Phalaborwa. Mica constitutes only a small percentage of our Pegmatites three primary mineral constituents (Feldspar, Silica Quartz, Mica) but after blasting, the mica being highly lamellar in nature, delaminates and the smaller flakes are then very difficult to separate. Brian Booth, Group CEO, said from when he started in 2014 that our Pegmin Union Mine has three high quality industrial minerals but they tend get in each other’s way. Many of the strategies implemented at the Pegmin (Pty) Ltd Union mine in the last 5 years have been around maximising each of these minerals individual potential. Using a washing and hand sorting process the Feldspar and the Silica Quartz have been easily separated for decades but the mica tended to end up in a waste stream or requiring further downstream processes at the Milling plant in order to separate from the Microbrite and Microsil ranges of milled Feldspar and high purity Silica Quartz. In spite of having access to the mineral, the group needed to import a high proportion of Mica from the Far East in order to satisfy the SA market, but thankfully this is now a thing of the past.
Utilising a 4 part screening and unique rotary winnowing system that was designed by one of the company’s original owners, Ken Watson, the Mica can be separated from the various ore fractions, liberating not only the Mica for onward beneficiation at the Johannesburg factory, but also the once mica contaminated feldspar ore is then usable as a primary feed into the coatings and ceramics market.
Micronized Johannesburg then processes the raw mica flakes of various sizes into four primary Micaceous products used in the SA Coatings, Welding Electrode and Cosmetics manufacturing industries, namely, Mica 325#, Mica 60#, Mica 40#, Mica 8#.
The benefit to South Africa’s manufacturing industry of Micronized becoming Mica independent is a more readily available and competitively priced mineral that compares in quality to any mica product in the world.
Micronized already has a leading position as a miner, supplier, manufacturer and processor of Talc, Kaolin Clays, Feldspar and Silica Quartz products, and in adding a SA source of quality Mica, remains committed to supplying a range of industrial minerals that consistently meet customers’ expectations.
Please contact us for further info.