Talc is the compound of water-contained magnesium silicate with the formula of 2(OH)10O4Si3Mg. Although the talc compound is usually very close to this general formula, some replacements take place. A tiny amount of Al and Ti can replace Si, a tiny amount of Mn, Fe and Al can replace Mg and a very tiny amount of Ca can replace Mg. When a large amount of Al replaces Mg this mineral is known as pyrophyllite. Talc is usually seen in green, white, grey and brown colors or colorless. Talc is a semi-transparent mineral with a pearl shine. It is the softest mineral so far known and its rigidity degree on Mose scale is 1. Talc is a monocline mineral with a single plane structure which is very similar to micas. Talc has a complete cleavage and is created at the weak bondage between the planes. Talc planes are bound together through wander walls which allow the easy slide over each other. This gives talc an extraordinary soft property which causes an oily or soap feeling, something that makes it valuable as a lubricant in high temperatures.
Most people know talc. This mineral can be powdered and is mostly known as talc powder. This powder can absorb moisture, oils and perfumes and can be used as lubricant and also an astringent in skin care products. This property causes talc to be used as the most important additive in many baby powders, foot powders, or powders used in First Aid or cosmetic products. A type of talc is called soap stone which is very well-known. This soft stone has been used in making things and decorative handicraft although talc is mostly used in the form of powder and soap stone, however this is only a small part of talc applications since it is also used in sculpture, goblet, bath tub, brazier, water basin pipes…
Talc is a mineral which is often forms within metamorphic rocks on the convergent boundaries of planes. This material is formed out of at least two processes. Most of the giant talc deposits in the United States have formed as a result of the thermal process of dissolution of magnesium and silicate and their reaction with dolomite marbles. The second process of talc formation takes place when hot and active chemical fluids affect the rocks such as dunites and serpentinites and change them into talc.
Most of the talc produced in the United States is extracted from open mines through excavation, explosion and partly through pulverization. The mineral ore with a premium quality is produced through selective mining works and classification operation.
During the mining process the highest attention is paid to prevention of cementation of talc with other rock materials. Other materials can leave a negative impact on the color of the produced talc. Cementation can create hard particles in talc and make its consumption difficult as a softener and lubricant. The rocks that have been crushed to some extent are taken to mills to be crushed into smaller pieces. The impurities are eliminated through floatation or other mechanical processes. Talc usages: Every day people often use products in which talc has been used however they have no information about talc and its role in the products.
The volume of the talc produced in 2011 was low in reaction to the recession of the global economy. Most of the producing countries did not increase their production comparing to the year 2010. China, South Korea, United States, Finland, Brazil, France and Japan are the biggest talc producers. The United States is self-sufficient in terms of producing various types of talc needed for its industries. Talc production was estimated at 615,000 cubic meters with a value of 20 million dollars. Three companies in the United States produce almost 100 percent of the mineral in that country.