Print version ISSN 0366-6913
WILSON, Ian Richard; SANTOS, Helena de Souza and SANTOS, Pérsio de Souza. Brazilian kaolins: some aspects of the geology and mineralogy. Cerâmica [online]. 1998, vol.44, n.287-288, pp. 118-129. ISSN 0366-6913. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0366-69131998000400003.
The size of Brazil and the diversity of geology is reflected in varying environments in which kaolinite assemblages have been formed. The geological environments of the Brazilian kaolin may be divided into the following groups - sedimentary kaolin, kaolin derived from pegmatite, from granitic rocks, from volcanic rocks and kaolin derived from anorthosite. The sedimentary clays are mainly found in the Amazon basin and those adjacent to the Jari River are being exploited commercially for export as a paper coating clay. Amazon kaolin is characterised by high iron and titania (lattice-held) with low levels of alkali and exhibiting euhedral kaolinite crystals. The South-eastern pegmatite, when not iron stained, are extremely low in iron and titania and a mixture of kaolinite 7Å/10Å-halloysite occurs in all deposits. The North-eastern pegmatite produces kaolin constituted only by euhedral kaolinites with an absence of halloysite. Kaolin from granites generally has higher iron levels when compared with pegmatite and deposits constituted only by kaolinite are rare, a mixture of kaolinite/7Å-halloysite being common. Both the pegmatite and granite derived kaolin are utilised as a paper filler and in general ceramics. Volcanic rocks on alteration produce a fine siliceous clay with titania levels higher than other types and are generally mixtures of kaolinite-7Å. Volcanic derived clays are utilized locally in ceramics. Kaolins derived from anorthosite are similar in iron and titania levels to those from granitic kaolins. Assemblages of kaolinite and small quantities of 7Å-halloysite are found. These clays are used in both whiteware ceramics and paper filler.