INFORMATION ON SOAPSTONE OR TALCSTONE
AVAILABLE IN PAKISTAN FOR EXPORTS
FEBRUARY 16, 2015
1).Soapstone or Talc-stone is one the minerals that contains high
percentage of talc between 30% to 65%, however in some rocks of
soapstone or talc-stone percentage could be as high as 80%.
2).One may feel soapy when touched softer grades of soapstone.
In soapstone hardness cannot be fixed because the amount of talc
It contains varies widely (from as little as 30% to as high as 80%.
3).Soapstone rock that can be scratched with fingernail is normally
considered to have a hardness of 2.5, while max hardness would
go to 5.5 and these rocks can be scratched with a knife blade.
4).Hardness is normally checked with the MOHS hardness Scale that
is internationally used for checking hardness of different minerals.
5).Other mineral Steatite CERAMICS are low-cost BIAXIAL porcelains
of nominal composition (MgO3) and (SiO2). Steatite is approximately
66% of Silica and 32% of Magnesia, and may contain minor quantities
of other oxides such as CaO or Al2O3).
6).Steatite is used primarily for its dielectric and thermal insulating
properties in applications such as tile, substrates, washers, bushings,
SOAPSTONE AVAILABLITY IN PAKISTAN
¨ Afghanistan origin soapstone has also been pouring in Pakistan,
and Pakistan processors are processing soapstones that come
from mines in Pakistan plus soapstones being imported from
Afghanistan. However soapstones, being exported from Pakistan,
is Pakistan origin regardless whether Afghanistan soapstone is
also mixed with Pakistan origin. Sometime soapstone imported
from Afghanistan and duly processed in Pakistan, is exported
from Pakistan as a Pakistan origin.
¨ Pakistan and Afghanistan soapstone consist of following
minerals (as per Chemical & Environmental Laboratory Test
Report dated 06 February 2015, testing conducted by SGS
Pakistan office (attached).
i) SILICA (SiO2) 60.23
ii) Magnesium Oxide (MgO) 31.13
iii) Other minerals (Calcium
Oxide (CaO), Iron (Fe2O3), Alumina
(Al2O3), Chloride(Cl)-(Water Soluble)
Loss on Ignition (LOI) @ 1050-C 04.68
Whiteness Ry 99.04
Brightness R457 95.39
1. Talc is a hydrous magnesium silicate mineral with a chemical
composition of Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. Although the composition of
talc usually stays close to this generalized formula, some
2. Small amounts of Al or Ti can substitute for Si; small amounts
of Fe, Mn and Al can substitute for Mg; and, very small amounts
of Ca can substitute for Mg. When large amounts of Fe substitute
for Mg, mineral is known as minnesotaite. When large amounts
of Al substitute for Mg the mineral is known as pyrophyllite
3. Pakistan and Afghanistan soapstone contains more MgO & SiO2
but with a certain ratio, therefore this quality is considered better.
4. Pakistani/Afghani origins Talc contain MgO percentage between
29% to 31% , SiO2: 59% – 61% and LOI: 5% – 6%.
5. The offered stone is the best quality extracted from the mines
situated in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.
6. Soapstone or Talc stone is graded with whiteness which should
be over 95% whiteness to fall under “A” category.
Usages of Soapstone
1. Sculpture, Statues; (The outer layers of the Christ the Redeemer
sculpture in Rio de Janeiro, are made of SOAPSTONE.
2. Insulator or housing for electrical components (because soap stone is
durable and has electrical characteristics plus it can be pressed into
complex shapers before firing);
3. Inlaid designs; Traditional Carvings;
4. Kitchen Counter Tops; Sinks;
5. Grave Markers;
6. Construction of Fire-Place surrounds, cladding on metal woodstoves
plus also use as the preferred material for wood burning masonry
heaters because soapstone can absorb, store and evenly radiate heat
due to its high density and magnetite (MgCO3) content.
7. Counter tops and Bathroom tiling because of its property as
the “quite stone”.
8. Handicrafts (Pots, Pans, Glasses, Jewel Boxes, Vases, Coasters.
9. Countertops and Interior surfacing;
10. Welding and Fabrication (used as a marker due to its resistance
to heat plus its remains visible when heat is applied);
11. Creation of Molds for casting objects from soft metals, such as
silver, because soapstone is easily carved and is not degraded by
heating. Soapstone’s slick surface allows the finished object to be
12. Soapstone can be put in a freezer and later used in place of ice-
cubes to chill alcoholic beverages without diluting; these are
called whiskey or alcoholic stones.
SIZES / WEIGHT / PACKING MODES / FULL CONTAINER LOAD
LUMPS 2.5 ~ 5.0 / 20 ~ 30 0.25 ~ 5.0 (depending on lump size)
PACKING i) Used Jumbo Bag, each of 1-kg weight, OR
ii) Bulk (loose directly loaded into containers).
20ft. standard type container
FCL 25 (25-bags)
28 (Loose – Bulk)
INDICATIVE RATES USA Currency, per metric ton, FOB Pakistan port.
LUMPS SIZE JUMBO BAG BULK
(millimeter) (1,000 Kg) (Loose)
2.5 ~ 5.0 210 205
20 ~ 30 205 200
¨ STANDARD TERMS OF BUSINESS
DELIVERY Within 45-days from receipt of firm order.
QUANTITY Up to 1,000 metric tons under single order.
INSPECTION From SGS Pakistan, at port of origin, seller’s cost.
PAYMENT An operative and workable LC, payable at sight.
¨ Soapstone photos attached, stored in warehouse in Pakistan.