Talc

The term talc refers both to the pure mineral and a wide variety of soft, talc-containing rocks that are mined and utilized for a variety of applications. Talc forms mica-like flakes. Talc is the softest mineral on the Mohs’ hardness scale at 1 and can be easily cut and crushed. Talc has perfect cleavage in one direction. This means that it breaks into thin sheets. As a result, it feels greasy to the touch (which is why talc is used as a lubricant)

Type

Mineral

Mineral Classification

Silicate

Chemical Formula

Mg3Si4O10(OH)2

Streak

White, pearl black

Moh's Hardness

1

Crystal System

monoclinic, triclinic

Color

White, brown, gray, greenish

Luster

Pearly

Fracture

uneven

Description

The term talc refers both to the pure mineral and a wide variety of soft, talc-containing rocks that are mined and utilized for a variety of applications. Talc forms mica-like flakes. Talc is the softest mineral on the Mohs’ hardness scale at 1 and can be easily cut and crushed. Talc has perfect cleavage in one direction. This means that it breaks into thin sheets. As a result, it feels greasy to the touch (which is why talc is used as a lubricant)

Relation to Mining

Open Pit Mining:

Most talc is mined today by conventional open-pit, drill-and-blast, shovel-and-truck techniques. The major difference from conventional technology is that blasting is minimized to reduce breakage of soft talc ore.

Uses

Ground talc is used as an ingredient in ceramics, paper, paint, roofing, plastics, cosmetics, talcum and baby powders, and a variety of other assorted uses such as making rubber and plastics.