Kaolin mining and exploration in Minnesota has been concentrated in the Minnesota River
Valley, in the south-central part of the state. Potential exists for kaolins in northern and central
Minnesota. Using the resources of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Drill Core
Repository, over 1,250 drill logs were reviewed for references to kaolin bearing materials. This
process resulted in 170 drill holes that contained references to kaolin bearing materials.
Examination of these drill holes resulted in the selection of 60 drill holes containing kaolinitic
materials for detailed logging. Detailed logging resulted in the collection of 287 samples from 40
drill holes. All samples were run for particle size analysis, and 27 selected samples were run for
Many regions in the study area show potential for kaolin clay exploration. All areas sampled
have favorable geochemistry and particle size analyses for current industrial clay uses, which
include brick manufacturing, ceramics, and portland cement production. The areas with the greatest
potential are Cass, Crow Wing, Stearns, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, and Pope Counties. Other
possible uses for these clays include, refractory materials, fillers and pigments for industrial and
agricultural applications, and coating and fillers for the paper industry.
Exploration for kaolin deposits may be hindered by the lack of outcrop and thick overburden
in some of these areas. The use of geophysical techniques, coupled with the examination of other
drill holes and water well log data, may aid in the location of areas of further interest for exploration
The original report contained a 3.5-inch Imation 2HD IBM floppy disk (capacity 1.44 MB) labeled "NRRI/TR-98/20 DISKETTE APPENDIX II NCPSA.WQ1 Location and Particle Size Analysis Data APPENDIX III NCGCHEM.WQ1 Geochemistry Data." Two files were extracted from that disk in August 2019, NCGCHEM.WQ1 and NCPSA.WQ1. Both files are attached to this record. Since the software used to create those files (Quattro Pro for DOS, version 1-version 4) is old and difficult to find, staff attempted to convert the files to a more accessible format. NCGCHEM.WQ1 was opened with Quattro Pro X9 software and converted to a comma separated values (.csv) file (also attached). Please note that the number of columns and rows in NCGCHEM.WQ1 (and NCGCHEM.CSV) doesn't exactly match the description in the report, but it's unknown whether that's due to an error in the opening of the file in Quattro Pro X9 or an error in the description. Also please note that there are charts in NCGCHEM.WQ1 that won't convert to .csv (or .xlsx, or any other file format attempted). NCPSA.WQ1 would not open with either Quattro Pro X9 or OpenOffice Calc 4.1.6 but is included here in case someone else can find a way to access the data.
Heine, John J; Patelke, Richard L; Oreskovich, Julie A.
Characterization of the Kaolin Occurrences in Northern and Central Minnesota.
University of Minnesota Duluth.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.