Over the years, nepheline syenite has become preferred to feldspar as a source of alumina and alkalis for glass manufacture. It promotes more rapid melting at lower temperatures, thus reducing energy consumption, lengthening the life of the furnace and improving the yield and quality of glass. The material is used in ceramic glazes and enamels and in fillers in paints, papers, plastics and foam rubber. In Canada, about two-thirds of nepheline syenite is consumed by the glass industry for containers, flat glass, insulating fibreglass and textile glass fibre.
Nepheline syenite is extracted from open pit mines. Ore is hauled to the mill, where it is put through a magnetic separation circuit to remove iron-bearing minerals. The mill produces several grades of nepheline syenite, based on grain size and iron content, to meet a wide variety of markets. Annual shipments exceed 700 000 t.
See also METALLURGY.
Author MICHEL BRAU BOUCHER
Links to Other Sites
Life of a Rock Star
This site tells the story of an extraordinary group of scientists who tramped, paddled and rolled across Canada in the nineteenth century to study the geology of Canada's varied terrain.
A History of Mining and Mineral Exploration in Canada
Click on the cover image to view an online copy of a comprehensive report that traces the emergence of Canada's mineral industry. From Natural Resources Canada.
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