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Feldspar


Feldspar

The feldspar group minerals are the most abundant minerals in the earth’s crust. High concentrations of alumina (Al2O3) and alkalis (K2O and Na2O) together with low levels of trace elements such as iron oxide (Fe2O3) define a high quality feldspar product. Alumina adds hardness, durability and resistance to chemical corrosion while the alkalis act as a flux lowering the temperature of a ceramic body during firing. Feldspar’s physical properties of dispersibility, weatherability, scrub resistance, and mildew resistance make it attractive to the coatings industry.

I-Minerals is focusing on potassium feldspar (K-spar). Deposits of high quality K-spar that can be economically extracted are rare. This rarity of quality deposits has resulted in K-spar selling at much higher prices than sodium feldspar. At present there is no domestic U.S. production of K-spar with K2O purities in excess of 10.0%. I-Minerals is developing a series of K-spar products under the Fortispar TM branding in the 12.5% to 13% K20 range. Fortispar products will be offered in 200, 325 and 635 mesh grinds to meet the requirements of a given industry.

I-Minerals is developing three quartz products under the TrueQTM that offer different SiO2 purities and each product will be available in a variety of grinds. TrueQTM 1 is a single float +99.9% SiO 2 product, TrueQTM 2 is a twice floated +99.94% SiO product and TrueQTM 3 is a thrice floated +99.97% SiO2 product.

Uses

Pure K-feldspar is highly valued and has limited availability in the United States and other parts of the world. Producers of high clarity glass, ceramics, sanitary ware, tableware, and paint are the primary users of K-feldspar. I-Minerals will focus on white ceramic bodies and glaze applications in the ceramic industry as the quality of its test products has been very well received by prospective customers. Industrial and marine paint manufacturers use an ultra fine grind variety of feldspar.

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