The kaolin and kaolin-rich sediments of the Andersonville district were deposited in an estuary environment with restricted circulation and little tidal or longshore current influence. Micaceous kaolinitic clays were deposited during late Paleocene time on broad, shallow water flats between deeper water distributary channels in the estuarine system. During the cycle of deposition, kaolinitic sediments were temporarily exposed to weathering leading to bauxitization and further kaolinization. Subsequently, subaerial and/or subaqueous erosion planed off and redeposited some of the weathering products as organic-rich clays and silts, berthierine-bearing clays, and rarely as colluvial bauxite and sedimentary bauxitic clays. Upon resubmergence, gibbsite-rich, porous bauxite, and bauxitic clays were exposed to silica-saturated water of the estuary. Gibbsite reacted with silica to form kaolinite and resulted in the formation of the transitional (bauxitic) clays overlying the bauxite. Kaolinitic sediments transported by streams again spread over the altered and redeposited material. At the close of the kaolin depositional period movement along the Andersonville Fault Zone and related faults changed the basinal configuration, and the area of the uplifted (southern) block of the fault was exposed to weathering and bauxitization for a limited period of time. General submergence again occurred and much of the district was covered by marine and brackish water, ending the period of commercial kaolin deposition.
The kaolin and bauxite deposits in the Andersonville district form a broad belt 15 kilometers wide and 22 kilometers long trending in a northwest-southeastward direction. Most of the kaolin and bauxite of commercial value occur within a narrow 10-kilometer-wide zone in the belt. The reserves of kaolin suitable for refractory and chemical use are approximately 290 million tonnes. Paramarginal resources of sandy kaolin suitable for refractory, chemical, or aluminum manufacture after beneficiation are approximately 240 million tonnes. Indicated and inferred reserves of bauxite and bauxitic clay are 1.8 million tonnes and 7.3 million tonnes respectively.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Geology and resources of the Andersonville, Georgia, kaolin and bauxite district