Talc, most commonly used and called as talcum powder, is a mineral containing hydrated magnesium silicate. This metamorphic mineral results of the metamorphism of magnesium minerals like Serpentine, Amphibole, Pyroxene, Olivine, in the company of water and carbon dioxide.
Chemical Formula Mg3Si4O10 (OH) 2
Derivation of Name
It is believed that talc was derived from the Arabic word talg or talk implying mica as talc forms mica-like flakes. Georgius Agricola gave it its present name in 1546.Occurrence
In nature, it is found as foliated to fibrous stacks, and also in a very rare crystal form. This mineral is the softest of all minerals known so far. Using a fingernail, you can scratch it easily. It is insoluble in water, though somewhat soluble in dilute mineral acids.
Talc doesn't find any use as gemstones.
Prominent and viable talc deposits are at the Mount Seabrook talc mine, Western Australia. It resulted from a polydeformed, encrusted ultramafic intrusion. The France-based Luzenac Group from France is the largest producer of mined talc. It has its biggest talc mine at Trimouns, close to Luzenac in southern France, producing 400,000 tons of talc every year, contributing 8% of total worldwide production.
Steatite or Soapstone rocks have a high content of grayish green talc, which is used for making sinks, stoves, soap, crayons, and electrical switchboards. Talc is used for producing cosmetics like talcum powder. It is also used as filler in manufacturing of paper and as a lubricant.
Color varies from gray to white or green with a distinct greasy touch. It has a white streak.
Talc is utilized as baby powder to prevent formation of rashes on parts of the body covered with a diaper. It is also used by sports persons for keeping their hands dry.
Talc is mainly used in numerous industries like paper making, paints and coatings, plastic, food, rubber, electrical cables, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and ceramics, etc.