Abstract

Brazil is a significant producer of kaolin with almost 2.5 Mt in 2005 representing 10% of the world’s total of 25.0 Mt. Brazil is now the second largest producer in the world, after the USA, having overtaken the United Kingdom in 2005. The kaolin resources are widespread throughout the country and are varied in their origin, physical and chemical properties and morphology. The kaolin industry in Brazil has shown a dramatic rise over the last 15 years with production of beneficiated kaolin increasing from 0.66 Mt in 1990 to 2.5 Mt in 2005. The reason for the growth is solely the development of large kaolin deposits in the Amazon Basin that account for 90% of Brazil’s production. In 2005 there are just two companies involved in the production and sales of kaolin from the Amazon Basin, namely Imerys (RCC – Rio Capim Caulim) and Caemi (a subsidiary of CVRD – Companhia Vale do Rio Doce) with kaolin operations of CADAM (Jari River) and PPSA (Capim River operations).

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