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China Clay is also known as
the mineral Kaolinite, the
name deriving from Kau-Ling
(`High Ridge') in Jiangxi
Province in China
First discovered in the UK
by the Plymouth chemist
William Cookworthy
(1705 ­ 1780) in 1746 at
Tregonning Hill near Helston…read more

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Distribution of Granites and Kaolinite Deposits in South West England
Main areas of China
Clay Production Today
Original discovery made here in 1746,
but not worked now for over 100 years…read more

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Tregonning Hill ­ Cookworthy's 1746 Discovery of China Clay in Cornwall on the
North East side of the Tregonning-Godolphin Granite
Several small quarries here
were responsible for producing
the first china clay in Cornwall…read more

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St. Austell Granite showing the main kaolinised zones…read more

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Kaolinization
The process by which feldspars are
altered to kaolinite or china clay
Na-rich feldspar (Albite) is most susceptible
and is transformed into pure kaolinite
K-rich feldspar (Orthoclase) is less susceptible and is altered
to a mixture of kaolinite and a fine grained mica called illite
2NaAlSi3O8 + 3H2O = Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + 4SiO2 + 2NaOH
(Feldspar) (Water) (Kaolinite) (Silica) (Alkali)…read more

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