Abstract

Physicochemical properties of representative samples from talc deposits discovered at Pout-Kelle and Memel in Cameroon have been investigated using a variety of techniques. The data allow the study of the mineral crystal-chemistry, chemical and modal compositions, grain size distribution, textures and surface heterogeneity, and morphometric characteristics. As a result, we found that talc (platy or round, Fe-rich) prevails (65–90%) over Cr-chlorite (7–26%), halloysite, chromite, rutile, brucite and magnesite. Chemically, talc ores are made up of SiO2, MgO, Fe2O3 and minor Al2O3. Mode values range from 50 to 55 μm at Memel and from 30 to 90 μm at Pout-Kelle. Specific surface areas measured by BET and t-plot methods range from 1.3 to 2.5 m2/g. The large values of morphometric characteristics are indicative of high crystallinity and platiness. Potential uses of these talc ores in the rubber, plastics and paper industries require beneficiation processes. Interestingly, the Memel deposit and most zones of the Pout-Kelle deposit are free of needle-shaped crystals, an advantage for environmental safety.

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