Abstract: Although the specific outcrop from which the original kaolin at Kauling (Gaoling) Mine, China, was collected cannot now be relocated, samples were collected and studied from the mine tunnel, country rock, and pegmatite which constitute the sources of kaolin in this region. The kaolin is a residual product of weathering. Where the parent rock was a granite the clay is a mixture of platy and elongate kaolin-group minerals, whereas from the pegmatite portion of the parent rock it is halloysite(10Å) with elongate morphology. These mineral identifications are based on X-ray powder diffractograms, scanning electron micrographs, differential thermograms, and an infrared spectrum hitherto not documented for material from this area.
Although the Kauling locality is the region for which kaolin is named, the mineral kaolinite is a defined species without a specific type locality. The 11th century Chinese locality was not mentioned in the two classic research papers defining kaolinite. The data on the Chinese kaolin, therefore, cannot be used directly to provide criteria for sharply differentiating the otherwise vague boundary between the minerals kaolinite and halloysite(7Å). Pertinent questions on these kaolin-group mineral relationships are brought into clearer focus.