Kaolin refers to white clay with soft substances gained through mining and processing procedures in the industry. Because it first originated in China, this mineral clay is also known as china clay. It is regarded as an essential ingredient for various fields of manufactures, including the making of porcelain, ceramic and the production of paint, paper, rubber, and many other industrial products. Because it has a large number of applications, kaolin is considered an important part of commodities in the global market. The activities of kaolin import and export have involved many countries across the globe, and Indonesia is no exception. If you are planning to import kaolin from other countries, particularly Indonesia, you should pay attention to the following information and take some crucial steps into account.

A Brief Overview of Kaolin: Component, Industry, and Market Activities

Commonly known as china clay, kaolin refers to a fine-grained white clay containing a number of physical properties for industrial applications. In the form of its individual grains, kaolin is shaped like a stack of very small plates with an average diameter of two microns or less. 

Kaolinite serves as the basic component of kaolin. Having a chemical formula of Al2O3(SiO2)2(H2O)2, this clay mineral is described to have the characteristics of hydrous aluminosilicate: it can dissolve in water, but in the wet condition, it will turn darker and develop an earthy odor.  

In the context of the mining industry, kaolin is classified into residual and sedimentary types. Residual kaolin is generally less pure because its formation process happens in the weathering rocks rich in feldspar. However, this type of kaolin has higher brightness than the other type, sedimentary. The latter is less bright because it has a higher level of purity and richer content of kaolinite. Sedimentary kaolin is gained through the process of redeposit and residual transports.

In Indonesia, the import-export regulation for mining products—including kaolin—is brought under the Indonesian Ministry of Trade. The activities of importing mining commodities generally involve several important aspects, such as the approvals of issues, the verification process, and the publication of particular licenses or obligations.

What to Consider When Buying Kaolin Import

Illustration of kaolin product

Here are some important things that should be taken into consideration when you want to get involved in the activities of kaolin import in the global market.

1. The Main Properties of Kaolin

In general, there are several main properties to differentiate kaolin from other types of clays. These include the degree of softness, whiteness, easy dispersion in liquids, as well as its inertness and platy structure. Such properties come in different degrees and can be measured to suit the needs of various industrial applications. 

For this reason, you need to take each property into consideration. Besides giving you a better decision to fulfill your industrial needs, considering kaolin properties also gives you insight in offering or negotiating the best price. 

2. The Kaolin Products

Kaolin import from Indonesia are offered in various forms, such as kaolin lump or cake, kaolin noodle, and kaolin powder. Those kaolin products are differentiated by the forms and the moisture content contained in them.

Kaolin lump and cake has the highest concentration of moisture, reaching 33-35 percent. The second highest moisture content is possessed by kaolin noodles with 12-14 percent of moisture. Meanwhile, kaolin powder is the lowest, having a percentage of 2-4 percent moisture content.

When importing kaolin, you need to choose which type of product is most suitable for your needs. Therefore, you will get higher benefits while using or applying this mineral clay in your own industry.

3. The Product Packaging

Because import activities take a long process, the product packaging should also be taken into account. In this case, you can rely on the standard packaging of mining commodities that use polypropylene woven bags and container bags.

The qualities of those bags are undoubtedly excellent and can ensure the safety of the commodities. More than that, they can contain a large amount of kaolin in different forms. Some companies that deliver kaolin as import goodies even provide additional options to combine several polypropylene items woven into container bags for double safety.  

Related: How Kaolin Commercially Used – Kaolin Packaging Types

4. The Delivery Process

One thing that cannot be ruled out from the import process is the delivery transport. Whether you choose cargo ships or delivery by plan, you should ensure that all of those procedures comply with the transport standard of import commodities.

In addition, to estimate the probable transportation cost when importing kaolin, you can investigate the process through inquiries with the export companies. Most of the time, the process also involves several other carriers, making the transport costs and estimated quotes subject to adjustment.

Therefore, it is crucial for you to choose and cooperate with trustworthy export companies that give you a detailed explanation of how the import mining commodities like kaolin are transported and delivered to your country.

5. The Import Laws and Regulations 

Abiding by the laws and regulations is a must when you want to import kaolin from other countries. Let’s take an example of a legal import procedure in Indonesia. Before you import kaolin that is mined and processed in this country, you should make a first check with the particular code of the Indonesian Harmonization System. The main objective of this process is to find how kaolin is classified because it is regarded as a specific product for export or import activities.

Even after finding out the right code for kaolin, you must complete the process by providing a number of supporting documents. These include the Bill of Lading, commercial invoice, packing list, certificate of insurance, as well as import permit and customs import declaration.

That concludes some important things to consider when you want to involve in the kaolin import activities. The information mentioned above can be one of your brief guides to achieve the best result and gain kaolin products with the highest quality. At the same time, you can also show your support in the development of the global market by increasing the import percentage of essential mining products such as kaolin.