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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Wells, J. Robert
Talc, soapstone and pyrophyllite,   pp. 1191-1199 ff. PDF (988.5 KB)


Page 1196

1196 
MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 
Copper Mine on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Plans for commercializing
the discovery were not mentioned.2 
 China, People's Republic of.—Talcgroup minerals are among China's
more important export items, and as much as half the yearly output of high-quality
material from the Ta—ling deposit at Liaoning, southern Manchuria,
may be sold overseas. Japan received about twothirds of the approximately
80,000 tons exported in 1970, and lesser quantities went to destinations
in Poland, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.S.R. 
 Egypt, Arab Republic of.—The most important sources of talc in Egypt
are the Darhib and El Atshan mines in the Eastern Desert, the region bordering
on the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea. Large-scale production of ceramic- and
pharmaceutical-grade talc from that area was curtailed in 1968 because of
a heavy accumulation of stocks in the preceding years. 
 France.—An apparent outbreak of encephalitis in northern France that
was accompanied by symptoms of acute skin irritation and which affected only
small infants, resulted in at least 20 deaths. The illness was traced to
the use in each case of one particular brand of baby powder, and statements
were made that the fatalities had been caused by talcum powder. The French
government's investigation showed that the tragic episode was attributable,
rather, to an error in the formulation of the product. The preparation had
been allowed to go on sale containing a lethal concentration (as high as
6%) of an effective but dangerous antibacterial agent, hexachlorophene. 
 Gennany, West.—Talc imports in 1971 amounted to 10,300 short tons,
4% less than in the previous year. Austria was the principal source of the
1971 imports with 39% of the total (up from 36% in 1970). Other major suppliers
in 1971 were Italy with 17%, France with 13% and Norway with 11%. The United
States furnished 3% of West Germany's imported talc in 
1970 but only a fraction over 1% in 1971. India.—Recent mineral discoveries
in 
northwest and north-central Kashmir State included talc deposits in the districts
of Gilgit and Baltistan. Prospecting licenses were being granted seekers
of talc and other specified minerals in that region 
with the understanding that such licenses will be convertible to 20- or 30-year
mining leases in the event of successful explo— ration. 
 Italy.—Italian exports of talc-group minerals in 1971 amounted to
nearly one-third of the total quantity produced, only fractionally different
from the previous year's proportion. Among the principal recipients of the
material exported in 1971 were West Germany, the United Kingdom, and the
United States. 
 Korea, Republic of.—The governmentcontrolled Korea Mining Promotion
Corporation announced that a $4.8 million loan from the Asian Development
Bank was being negotiated for the procurement of new mining equipment. The
stated objective of this procurement and related modernization activities
was the establishment of a situation to encourage production and use of an
extensive list of domestic mineral raw materials. Among the products mentioned,
talc and pyrophyllite (from the Tongyang and Sungsan mines, respectively)
are rapidly attaining major importance as earners of foreign exchange. 
 South Africa, Republic of.—Figures for 
1972 mineral production included 9,656 short tons of talc and 2,270 short
tons of 
"wonderstone," the name given to a special variety of pyrophyllite that is
mined locally. Exports accounted for only 2% of the tonnage of talc and 12%
of the pyrophyllite, but the unit values of the exported materials (equivalent
respectively to $51.00 per short ton and $213.00 per short ton) were indicative
of the exceptional grades involved. 
 Swaziland.—A group of Japanese companies, headed by a Mitsubishi subsidiary,
held discussions with Swaziland Industries (Pty), Ltd., with a view to initiating
exploitation of a newly discovered deposit of pyrophyllite in the southwestern
Highveld area, presumably to supply material for shipment to Japan. Swaziland
Industries currently mines pyrophyllite from a deposit near Sicunusa in the
Manzini district, but the entire output of that operation is exported to
the Republic of South Africa. 
 Sweden.—Production of talc and soapstone in Sweden has averaged about
30,000 
 2 Mining Magazine (London). Island Copper Project. V. 127, No. 4, October
1972, pp. 344—345, 
347. 


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