A 1,400-metre air-core drilling program has begun at the Mount Hope Halloysite-Kaolin prospect northwest of Port Lincoln in South Australia by Andromeda Metals Ltd.
To determine suitability for various applications, test work of the new material obtained will be undertaken as per the program. Spread over 227 square kilometers, the Mount Hope tenement EL 6286 has previously witnessed several stages of kaolin exploration. These explorations were carried out for over thirty years by companies looking for paper-grade kaolin. Approximately 74 percent filler quality and 26 percent coating quality material were previously discovered in the resource extracted. The presence of significant amounts of halloysite-kaolin, which is a higher value-form of the mineral found rarely, has been shown by the analysis done by the South Australian Department of Mines and Energy in 1989. Mount Hope Kaolin had become unsuitable for use in paper applications primarily due to the presence of halloysite. With a power to command a significant premium above the average kaolinite price, halloysite has many industrial uses beyond simple kaolinite.
The ceramic market has a huge demand for halloysite-kaolinite blend contained in the Poochera kaolin. The petrochemical and refining markets have a demand for pure halloysite which could also be used in the developments of new high-tech and nanotechnology applications.