Raw feldspar materials in Sardinia, an overview


ISSN 1121-7588
F. Bordicchia, C. Marini, R. Bornioli*
Dipartimento Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi, Cagliari, Italy
*Maffei Sarda S.p.A., Cagliari, Italy

Abstract

An overview is provided of the feldspar mines and raw materials produced in Sardinia, including mineral-petrological and technological data as well as deposit geology. The different types of raw feldspar produced in Sardinia can be divided into: 1 - Palaeozoic metarhyolites and "porphyroids"; 2 - Metasomatic albitites; 3 - Tertiary quartz-feldspar sands. A number of mines are currentlly being worked on the island at San Nicolò Gerrei (1), Orani-Ottana (4) and Florinas (5). The raw materials extracted and processed to meet different commercial specifications, are, in order of decreasing importance: Na-feldspar, Na-K-feldspar, low-melting feldspar-bearing rocks, low-melting and filler feldspar-quartz-bearing rocks. Over the last twenty years several mines have gone into operation and exploration work has been conducted on other geological formations. Though not all prospecting has been successful, the experience gained has enabled to refine feldspar prospecting, characterization and beneficiation technologies so as keep pace with the continually changing market requirements and to stave off foreign competition. At the present time the extractive industry is suffering because of the demonization taken up by the mass media, which has resulted in the introduction of administrative and legislative measures that handicap the industry. These problems are compounded by the competition from the developing countries which, unlike European producers, do not have to bear the costs associated with occupational safety and environmental protection.
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