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Bauxite and Kaolin Deposits of the Irwinton district, Georgia

Bulletin 1199-J

By:
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Abstract

The Irwinton district is in the central part of Georgia at the inner margin of the Coastal Plain province. The oldest rocks exposed in the district are crystalline rocks of the Piedmont province. They are unconformably overlain by nonmarine sedimentary strata of Late Cretaceous age, including gravel, micaceous sand, and lenses of kaolin. Bauxite has been found in a few of the kaolin lenses near the top of the sequence of these strata. During a long period prior to deposition of the over- lying marine beds of the Claiborne and Jackson Groups (middle and upper Eocene), the Upper Cretaceous strata were subjected to subaerial erosion. The bauxite deposits are considered to have formed during this period. They range in thickness from a few inches to more than 10 feet and occupy areas ranging from a few square feet to more than 5 acres. Most of the known bauxite deposits lie along the valleys of Commissioners Creek and Big Sandy Creek in Wilkinson County. The kaolin lenses are much larger than the bauxite deposits; some of the lenses underlie more than 200 acres and are more than 20 feet thick. Bauxite was discovered in the district in 1907 and was mined from 1910 to 1928. A few additional carloads of ore were shipped in 1941 and 1942, but no ore has been mined since that time. Reserves of high-grade bauxite are very small. Reserves of all grades of bauxite plus bauxitic clay may be about 400,000 long tons. The Irwinton district is the principal source of high-grade kaolin in the United States. The presence of kaolin here has been known since early colo- nial time, and it has been mined continuously since 1897. Production in 1959 was 1,940,279 short tons. The reserves of kaolin are very large but have never been adequately measured. Reserves of first and second grade kaolin may be 67 to 84 million short tons. Kaolin of lower grade is present in larger quantity.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Bauxite and Kaolin Deposits of the Irwinton district, Georgia
Series title:
Bulletin
Series number:
1199
Chapter:
J
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1965
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
p. J1-J26, ill., map (1 fold. col.in pocket) ;24 cm.
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Distribution, occurrence, and resources of bauxite and kaolin
Scale:
62500