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Ball clay

July 12, 2013

Four companies — H.C. Spinks Clay Co., Inc., Imerys, Old Hickory Clay Co. and Unimin Corp. — mined ball clay in five U.S. states in 2012. Production, on the basis of preliminary data, was 900 kt (992,000 st), with an estimated value of $42.3 million. This was a slight increase in tonnage from 886 kt (977,000 st), with a value of $40.9 million in 2011. Tennessee was the leading ball clay producing state, with 63 percent of domestic production, followed by Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Indiana. Reported ball clay production from Indiana probably was fire clay rather than ball clay. About 69 percent of total ball clay production was airfloat, 20 percent was crude and 11 percent was water-slurried.