Global Microcline Market: Overview
Microcline (KAlSi3O8) is the low-temperature pure potassium end member of the alkali feldspar group. It is polymorphous with sanidine and orthoclase. These three minerals form the potassium- rich feldspar are almost identical in physical properties. It is sometimes impossible to distinguish between them without x-ray analysis. The only difference between them is their crystal structure. Microcline crystallizes in the triclinic system and orthoclase and sanidine crystallize in the monoclinic system. Crystals of microcline are generally much larger than those of orthoclase, and a deep green color is a sign of microcline, since orthoclase does not exist in that color. Microcline has been used as a semi-precious stone under the name of amazonite and perthite. Amazonite is a variety that is deep green and suitable for carving and polishing. The perthite variety is a stripped, veined, or almost zebra patterned stone that is produced from lamellar intergrowths inside the crystal. Amazonite is most commonly used in jewelry and can be cut to almost any size.
Global Microcline Market: Key Segments
The microcline market can be segmented based on classification, application, and region. Based on classification, the microcline market can be segmented into glass grade, ceramic body grade, and glaze grade. In terms of application, the microcline market can be classified into glass, ceramics, and fillers. Microcline is industrially important in the manufacture of glass and ceramics. Well-shaped crystals, especially those of amazonite, a variety of microcline, are valued by mineral collectors. Amazonite is also used as a gemstone and is polished into beads, cabochons, and ornaments. Microcline is used as an ornamental stone; in the manufacture of glass, enamel, and porcelain products; and as a mineral specimen. Albite, or soda spar as it is known commercially, is used in ceramics. Microcline is used mainly in the manufacture of porcelain. It is ground very fine and mixed with kaolin and quartz. Upon heating, the feldspar fuses and acts as a cement binding the materials together. Fused feldspar is also the main constituent in the glaze on porcelain.
Global Microcline Market: Regional Outlook
Based on region, microcline market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. North America accounted for a major share of the microcline market in 2017. Europe also constituted key market share due to the large reserves of microcline found in Russia. Microcline deposits are also found in Norway, Italy, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Namibia, India, Brazil, Russia, Australia, the U.S., and Canada. Amazonite is mainly found in the U.S. (California, Colorado, Montana, Pennsylvania, Virgina-Amelia County), Canada (Quebec-Kipawa and Ontario-Renfrew and Parry Sound districts), Brazil, India (Kashmir), Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar (Andina, Anjanabonoina, Mahabe, and Immody), Namibia, and South Africa. However, Russia has the biggest gem amazonite deposits in the world. They are located at Ploskaya Gora and Parus Mountain near Lovozero, Kola Peninsula.
Latin America and Middle East and Africa are major regions of the microcline market. The microcline market in the regions is estimated to expand significantly due to the presence of large reserves of microcline crystals. Aegirine crystal primarily comes from Mount Malosa and Malawi. Other locations where microcline crystals are found are Papachacra, Catamarca, Argentina; the Erongo Mountains, Namibia; and the Shigar Valley, Skardu, Pakistan. White to light pink microcline comes from the French Creek area, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Well-formed crystals are widespread at Mont Saint Hilaire, Quebec, Canada.
Global Microcline Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global microcline market include Adinath Industries, Asia Mineral Processing Co. Ltd., CVC Mining Company, Eczacibasi Esan, El Waha Mining & Fertilizers, Gimpex Ltd., Gottfried Feldspat GmbH, GP Minerals, Imerys Minerals Ltd., and I - Minerals, Inc.
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