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The Williamstown South Australia, kaolin, kyanite, mica and clay deposits have been mined since the early 1900's by a variety of different owners. The mine is currently owned by Unimin Australia Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Belgium based industrial mineral supplier Sibelco.

Minerals From the Williamstown Deposit are Used in the Manufacturing of of Insulators and Refactories
Most of the minerals mined at the Williamstown mine in the Mount Lofty Ranges are used in the manufacturing of insulators and refractories. Three ore bodies have been mined at the Williamstown Mine, the largest being being a 25 by 60 metre pipe like structure that dips deeply and extends for more than 100 metres. Other reserves at the Williamstown Mine are limited and unusual ore bodies which restrict production to no more than a few thousand tonnes a year.

Williamstown Hosts Muscovite Mica That has Many Industrial Uses
The Williamstown Mine also hosts a fine grained muscovite mica of a pale green colour that is located within the sillimanite-kaolin deposits. This mica is used as a filler in paint and plasterboard as well as a surface coating on welding rods, coating on foundry moulds to facilitate release and as a decorative glitter spray-on. The mine produces approximately 1,000 tonnes of this product a year. The Williamstown deposit also produces vermiculite but it unfortunately has low expansion qualities and is not commercially viable.

Williamston is one of Five Other Australian Producers of Kaolin
There are only six major kaolin producers in Australia with very little of the product being exported. Over the last few years Sibelco, through its subsidiary Unimin, has acquired most of these producers placing it as a major producer of industrial minerals. Australia currently produces about 155,000 tonnes of kaolin a year sourced from most states, particularly Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. South Australia hosts a very large resource but lacks sufficient water containing a high salt level to make processing viable. This has seen South Australia remain a small producer (usually no more than 3,000 tonnes annually) with the kaolin produced mainly used in the manufacturing of cement and industrial fillers. Williamstown kaolin is mostly a mix of sillimanite and kaolin that makes it useful in the manufacturing of insulators and refractories.

Sibelco has 245 Centres Around the World
Sibelco is a Belgian metal and mineral mining company that has more than 245 production centres throughout the world involved in either mining, production or distribution of industrial minerals such as; huntite, talc, wollastonite, feldspar, kaolin, hydromagnesite, dolomite, calcite, bentonite and barite. The company is involved in mining and refining numerous types of minerals and sands particularly silica sand used in industrial applications. Sibelco is the world leader is this area.

Sibelco is Still a Privately Owned Family Company After 141 Years in Business
Sibelco was founded by Stanislas Emsens in Flanders in 1872. It is one of Belgiums oldest companies. Its global headquarters are located in Antwerpen, Belgium. The company is still owned by the Emsen family, one of the wealthiest families in Belgium. Sibelco acquired the major shareholding in Unimin in 1973.

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