Kaolinite (also known as China clay or kaolin) is a soft mineral found on the earth surface. It is formed by the decomposition of Feldspar due to chemical weathering. Its chemical composition is Al2Si2O5(OH)4.

The mineral is usually white in color. It is also found in red-orange due to the presence of iron oxide. Its impure variety is known as Terracotta.

Kaolinite is seen in most parts of India including Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Saurashtra and Deccan Plateau. The country produces nearly 23 million tones of kaolin yearly. The mineral is used in medicine, bricks, paper and ceramics.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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