Abstract

High-quality kaolins are produced from two sites in the Capim River area in Pará State, northern Brazil. One mine is operated by Rio Capim Caulim (RCC) owned by Imerys and the other by Pará Pigmentos S.A. (PPSA) owned by Caemi (CVRD Group). The kaolin deposits are located on low-relief plateaux with a lateritic cap. The kaolin strata are in the Ipixuna Formation of Upper Cretaceous Age. There are two distinct kaolin layers, a 4–5 m thick soft kaolin which is overlain in the southern portion of the basin by a 4–5 m thick hard kaolin. The soft and hard designations refer to particle size, with the soft kaolin being relatively coarse and the hard kaolin very fine. The kaolin is mined, partially beneficiated, and pumped through pipelines to the port at Barcarena on the Guama River, a large tributary of the Amazon River. The PPSA kaolin is fully processed at the plant near the mine site and pumped to Barcarena where it is spray dried. The RCC kaolin is only partially processed at the mine site. This partially processed kaolin is pumped to Barcarena where it is beneficiated. The finished kaolin is high quality and is shipped to North and South American, European, and Asian paper-coating markets. More than 1.6M tons were shipped from Barcarena in 2005.

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