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Pakistan has major resources of best quality Talc Deposits in the world. Its mines are situated in green valleys of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa with largest deposits located in Sherwan (Hazara), Shangla Par (Swat), Jamrud, Kurram Agency, Safed Koh (near Parachinar), Landi Kotal, Zhob in Baluchistan, Nauseri in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Chalt in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Talc (Soap Stone) deposits located in Kurram Agency are of good quality matching to International Standards i.e. brightness ranging from 92% to 98%. However, detailed exploration is needed to prove the exact quantity & quality of reserves.
Talc/Stone Soap is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate with the chemical formula H2Mg3(SiO3)4 or Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. It is very soft and can be cut with a knife. Talc is insoluble in water, but it is slightly soluble in dilute mineral acids. Its colour ranges from white to grey or green and it has a distinctly greasy feel. Its streak is white.
Talc is used in many industries such as paper making, plastic, paint and coatings, rubber, food, electric cable, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, ceramics, etc. A coarse grayish-green high-talc rock is soapstone or steatite and has been used for stoves, sinks, electrical switchboards, etc. Talc is sometimes coupled with Asbestos Minerals which is fatal for human body. Talc is mostly linked with pulmonary diseases like Lung Cancer, Skin Cancer and also Ovarian Cancer.
Formation of Talc
Talc is a metamorphic mineral (1) resulting from the metamorphism of magnesium minerals such as Serpentine, Pyroxene, Amphibole, Olivine, in the presence of Carbon Dioxide and Water. This is known as Talc Carbonation or Steatization and produces a suite of rocks known as Talc Carbonates.
Talc is a mineral of Hydrous Silicate of Magnesium with Chemical Formula of Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 .
1. Talc is primarily formed via hydration and carbonation of serpentine, via the following reaction:
serpentine + carbon dioxide → talc + magnesite + water 2Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 + 3CO2 → Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 + 3 MgCO3 + 3 H2O
2. Most talc is formed from the alteration of Dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2 or of Magnesite (MgO) in the presence of excess dissolved Silica (SiO2). Talc can be formed via a reaction between Dolomite and Silica, which is typical of skarnification of Dolomites via silica-flooding in contact metamorphic aureoles:
dolomite + silica + water → talc + calcite + carbon dioxide 3CaMg(CO3)2 + 4 SiO2 + H2O → Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 + 3 CaCO3 + 3 CO2
3. Serpentine or Quartzite can also form talc. Talc can be formed from magnesian chlorite and quartz in blueschist and eclogite metamorphism via the following metamorphic reaction:
chlorite + quartz → kyanite + talc + water
Associated Minerals: Dolomite, Magnesite, Quartz, Olivine, Pyroxenes, Serpentine, Amphiboles and Biotite
(1) Metamorphic Mineral is the result of the transformation of a pre-existing rock type. They are formed by the intrusion of molten rock, called magma, into solid rock where the temperatures are high.
Physical and Chemical Properties of TALC (Soap Stone)
Hegman Grind*: 3- 6
Density (g/cm3): 2.7- 2.85
Specific Gravity: 2.6- 2.85
Oil Absorption: 30-55
Solubility in H2O: Insoluble
Appearance: White Powder, Grey, Green etc
Mohs Hardness @20°C**: 1.0- 1.5
G.E. Brightness: 85- 97
Refractive Index: 1.59- 1.60
Talc is also name as Soapstone, French Chalk and Steatite.
Soapstone refers to all massive gray to bluish or greenish talcose rocks which generally have a slippery feeling and can be carved by hand.
French Chalk is a soft variety of talc used for making cloth.
Steatite is a grade of talc suitable for making electronic tube insulators.
Colors of TALC (Soap Stone) Talc Major Colors are:
It all depends upon the talc’s chemical composition, and what proportions of such elements as Aluminum, Iron, Manganese and Titanium may also be present.
Talc is mined from talc-bearing metamorphic rock. Within this rock, bodies of talc can often range in thickness from tens of meters to over 100 meters. How the talc formed within the rock and the nature of the rock itself determines the quality of the talc.
Different Types of Talc
Uses of TALC (Soap Stone)
Talc basically has five characteristics that make it a valuable mineral for industrial and domestic applications.
ii. Chemical inertness
v. Affinity for Organic Chemicals
In fact, talc is found in everything from animal feed to tires, and has been for millennia. As long as 15,000 years ago, cave dwellers used talc in their paints. For at least 5,000 years, it has been used in cosmetics, especially as a skin lightener, and 1,000 years ago, the Chinese began using it in their glazed pottery. Listed below are several of Talc’s uses for the industries of the world.
1) Paper Industry:
Talc’s number one consumer is the Paper Industry. It is used as filler and coating for paper products. Furthermore, talc helps control the paper’s pitch while the paper is being processed. It improves paper smoothness, water retention in certain papers, and printability and runnability for coated papers.
2) Ceramics Industry:
The Ceramics Industry is another talc consumer. The glazing and bodies of the ceramics rely on talc to give ceramics their gloss, whiteness and shape. Dinnerware, Sanitary ware, tiles, porcelain, and electrical insulation are all part of ceramics made with talc. It is also used as a flux and to control thermal expansion – particularly in catalysts and particulate filters.
3) Paints Industry:
Talc is a major ingredient in Paint & Coatings. It helps control glosses, improves durability, fights rust (anti-corrosive), prevents cracking, and enhances smoothness. Pigment control and stability are also applications that talc adds to paint and coatings.
4) Food Industry:
– Additives in Foods : Talc coats some foods such as Chewing Gum, Candy and Cured Meat as an anti-sticking agent
– Olive Oil Processing: To improve oil extraction & clarity.
5) Personal Care Industry:
Due to Inert, soft and fragrance-retentive nature of Talc; it is used in manufacturing of Cosmetic Products.
– The softness and oil absorption it offers make it a primary ingredient in blushes, eye shadows and powder compacts.
– The oleophilic nature of talc makes it popular for dusting on the body in both baby powder and body cream. It helps absorb wetness and odor produced by the human body.
– The powder can be applied to help in chaffing and rubbing of the body extremities.
– Foot powder is usually made from talc, to help stop odor and wetness.
Talc used in cosmetics is required to be of high purity and is reduced to fine particles for preparation.
6) Soap Industry:
Since pre-historic age Talc is being used as soap that is why Talc is also named as Soap Stone.
– Reducing the cost of detergents, talc acts as a carrier for many soaps. Talc is harmless to our skin and is inert making it the ideal mineral to put in detergents as a filler.
– Body soap is sometimes made of talc. It acts as a filler and does not hurt the skin.
7) Plastics Industry:
Plastics are involved with talc as well. Talc adds the following properties to plastic:
8) Rubber Hoses,
Membranes, Sealing, Stoppers & Tires:
Talc’s many uses can also be found in Rubber Companies. It helps give rubber its bounce. Rubber hoses made with talc are used in just about every automobile on the market. With its high heat resistance and bonding power talc helps make the hoses less permeable.
9) Pharmaceutical Industry:
– Many anti- fungal powders include talc to help kill bacteria off and improve the odor of the body.
– Talc is used in many commercial antacids for stomach and indigestion problems. The high resistance of acids and chemicals in the stomach make talc a good filler for the tablets.
– Many ointments include talc because of its ability to not react with chemicals. These ointments are used to treat things like scabies and insect bites.
– Pills are often coated in talc to help keep moisture out of them. This is why talc is a vital pharmaceutical mineral.
10) Farming Industry:
The Farming Industry uses talc to help preserve their cattle feed. Talc forms an anti-caking wrap on the feed that helps stop moisture from entering or leaving the feed. Talc is also used to help reduce the bacteria in the feed troughs for the animals.
11) Electrical Industry:
– Electrical Insulators are often made with talc. This lowers the wasted energy produced from electrical devices.
– Cables: To improve electrical insulation and flame retardancy.
12) Textile Industry:
Finely ground Talc is used for bleaching of cotton sacks.
13) Some Other Uses:
– Talc accelerates sedimentation of bacteria in Wastewater Treatment Plants.
– Talc makes a wonderful Smooth Filler for many products. Pencils need talc to keep their softness and improve their adhesion.
– Counter Tops are often made from the mineral talc. Talc’s resistance to chemical acids and bases make it the ideal candidate for the job.
– Talc is an Odor Absorber and improves Heat Resistance in many industrial products.
– Talc is used by the Gymnast to dry their hands for a better grip on rings, beam, floor, bars, vault and horse. In addition, talc is used on the gymnasts feet so they may get a better foot grip on the beam and floor. Gymnastic equipment is usually covered with talc after a practice.
– Cereal polishing, shoe polish, ink, dry fire extinguishing powder, many floor waxes and joint compounds include talc as well.