SAMPLING AND TESTING
mining begins with exploration. Based on local stratigraphy, geologists
identify lands with potential for mineable deposits. Landsmen
negotiate with the landowner for the rights to explore and mine.
Contracts usually take the form of mineral leases that pay royalties
or options to purchase. Commercial quality deposits are located
by surveying, drilling, sampling and testing. Because of contaminants
and extreme overburden, only a portion of the land explored contains
commercial quality kaolin.
LOCATING THE MINE
The exact location of the opening to
be made in the earth is laid out on the ground. The opening is referred
to as a "cut" and its location and dimensions are based on the survey,
drill and test information developed during exploration of the land.