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KAOLIN GEOLOGY IN MIDDLE GEORGIA

SITE PREPARATION, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, AND OVERBURDEN STRIPPING

1-12 months


Following State approval, the landowner removes any merchantable trees from the mining site. Erosion and sediment control structures are built. These usually take the form of berms, sediment fences and impoundments for collecting run-off water and sediments. When these structures are in place, stripping of earth or overburden can begin according to the mining plan. Mining cuts are usually 2-5 acres in size.


MINING AND RECLAMATION

3-10 years

Mining will normally progress in sequential cuts, with the overburden being placed into the previous mined-out cut. This "back-filling" method is repeated until mining is complete. This method leads to early reclamation of the land. However, the entire mine can only be reclaimed when the last cut is mined. Some kaolin deposits are marginal in quality and must be blended with other deposits to be used.

As a result, some mines will remain open or active for many years before the kaolin is exhausted. During this time, erosion and sediment control devices are maintained to assure that run-off water and sediments are contained on the permitted site.


 

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