CHARACTERIZATION AND POTENTIAL INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF THE PERMIAN KAOLIN CLAY DEPOSITS, GA'ARA AREA, WESTERN IRAQ
Representative samples from the investigated kaolin clay at the Ga'ara Depression, Iraqi Western Desert, are assessed in the present work for various industrial applications. Mineralogical, physical and chemical analyses are carried out. The main clay mineral present is kaolinite with occasional traces of illite. The main non-clay admixtures present are quartz, iron oxyhydroxides, anatase and organic matter. Particle size analysis showed that eight deposits are very fine c1ays, three deposits are fine, six deposits are medium and two deposits are coarse clays. The kaolin clays are of various brightness and whiteness, but mostly they are off-white. Ten deposits are plastic and nine of them are super-plastic clays. Silica and alumina are the main constituents. Iron and titanium oxides are present in significant amount whereas the total alkalis are generally low. Nine of the clay deposits are fat, six are moderately fat and four are lean. Although the quality of all white clays can be improved by some processing, nine deposits are sufficiently of high quality to be used after minimal beneficiation in the manufacture of paper, paints, rubber and plastics. In addition, after calcination, some of the samples become suitable for the above end uses. Each of the investigated clay deposit is suitable for use in ceramic manufacture whereas only nine of them are sufficiently high in alumina to be used for the manufacture of chamotte refractories.