Talc, the softest mineral in the world, is a hydrated magnesium sheet silicate, formed by transformation of existing rocks under hydrothermal activity. Properties of talc—including its resistance to heat, electricity, and acids, its platyness and its insolubility—make it a very important industrial mineral. The open-cut mining of talc can therefore be an attractive and profitable industry, provided exploration and production costs are not excessive.

WMC Resources first became involved in talc exploration at Three Springs, Western Australia, in 1960. There, talc mineralization is hosted in the Proterozoic Moora Group dolomite, which unconformably overlies Archaean basement and is intruded by numerous...

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