Commodities, Exploration/Development, News

The largest primary kaolin deposit in the world is in WA


WA Kaolin has announced a 113 per cent increase to the ore reserve at its Wickepin kaolin project in WA.

Kaolin is a soft, white clay with a wide range of uses from paper to porcelain. There are strong kaolin markets in the US, Asia, and Europe.

The latest JORC ore reserve estimate reported a 64.9 million tonne deposit at Wickepin, an increase of 113 per cent. The estimated ore reserve gives Wickepin a mine production life of 73 years.

“This ore reserve upgrade more than doubles our Wickepin Kaolin deposit making it the largest known primary kaolin deposit in the world,” WA Kaolin chief executive officer Andrew Sorensen said.

“This massive resource… will be a multi-generation project and provides confidence as we progress our production ramp up to stage one nameplate capacity of 200,000 tonnes per annum and look towards doubling production capacity in stage two.”

Wickepin is located adjacent to a township of the same name, roughly 214km southeast of Perth.

Andromeda Metals is another ASX-lister with kaolin on its mind. The company is developing the Great White kaolin project in South Australia, which is also shaping up to be a multi-generational project.

Great White is focused on the production of halloysite-kaolin, a particularly high-grade type of kaolin. Halloysite-kaolin particles are shaped like rolled-up parchment, meaning that it is capable of holding its colour extremely well. Halloysite-kaolin often finds its way to high-end markets such as tiling and fine china.

Halloysite-kaolin is considered the most researched clay mineral in the world, yet there are no active producers of the resource in Australia to this point.

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