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Kaolin Overview

  • A platy white clay derived from the mineral Kaolinite formed by hyrdothermal weathering of igneous rock such as granite
  • A common mineral, however, rarely occurs in large high-grade and low inpurity deposits
  • Current application industries include paper and packaging, ceramics, paints and coatings, fibreglass, plastics, rubber, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and agriculture
  • Future applications include:
    • Feedstock for a high purity alumina (“HPA”) – a critical mineral used in EV batteries and LED screens
    • Metakaolin - a substitute mineral for use in cement and concrete able to reduce associated CO2 emissions by up to 40%

“Recent studies also indicate lithium can potentially be found in or adjacent to kaolinite deposits”

The $300bn industry quest for Green Cement & Concrete


Healthy Underlying Growth

  • The main raw material of metakaolin is kaolin
  • In 2015 the market size for kaolin and metakaolin exceeded US$4.5billion and US$100million respectively
  • By 2024, the compound annual growth rate is expected to be 4.5% driven by existing end markets such as ceramics, coatings, paper, construction etc
  • The potential value of the nascent HPA and decarbonisation applications of kaolin and metakaolin have not be factored into the above assumptions
Asia Pacific metakaolin revenue forecast

Source: IBL Research Analysis

Source: Adia Pacific Metakaolin Market Research Report 2021 - 2027

Metakaolin Overview

  • Different from other supplementary cementing materials such as fly ash, slag or silica fume because it is not a by-product of industrial processes
  • It is manufactured for specific purposes under controlled conditions ensuring consistency of materials and its performance
  • Metakolin can be widely used in ceramics, construction, refactory materials, casting, frit, glass fiber, glass wall, ceramic fiber, adhesives, plastic, rubber, etc
  • In concrete, metakaolin provides improved performance in the form of decreased permeability, improved strength and durability, and reduced shrinkage as well as reduce CO2 emissions.
  • In cement production, it can be used to dramatically reduce the amount of clinker required and associated emissions by up to 40%

Kaolin and the EV Market


  • HPA is a critical mineral required in EV batteries – it acts as a separator between the cathode and anode
  • In March 2022, HPA was added to Australia’s critical mineral list
  • HPA can now be commercially produced from kaolin


  • Kaolin deposits can also potentially host lithium as in the UK’s St Austell deposit
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