Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 25

WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
SANDERSVILLE RAILROAD

Lake Franklin, in Deepstep, is a prime example of the reclamation
work that is done once kaolin mining is completed on a property.

ticles-earth that contained materials
from the ocean, such as marine animal fossils and seashells. The white
belt was born-a line of huge clay
deposits called kaolin.
Kaolin is removed from the
ground by open-pit mining. Land is
either purchased by a kaolin company or leased from the owner and
then cleared. The layers of earth
above the kaolin are removed using
heavy machinery, and the kaolin
deposits-often 100 feet or more beneath the surface-are exposed. The
kaolin is then transported from the
mine to be processed into thousands
of products.
The earth is replaced after active
mining of the site ends, which, deOctober 2017

IMERYS KAOLIN

IMERYS KAOLIN

Above photo: An aerial view shows the kaolin processing sector
in Sandersville. Left photo: Locally owned and operated, The
Sandersville Railroad transports kaolin in many forms from
processing plants to connecting railways, where it is shipped to
purchasers all over.

Chandler Mock displays a shark's tooth found on a fossil hunt
held at IMERYS' Lake Franklin educational center.

pending on the size of the deposit,
can be months or years. Mining
in other states can leave destruction and waste in its wake, but the
Georgia Surface Mining Act of 1968
ensures that the mining process in
Georgia ends not with the removal
of a mineral but with the restoration
of the land.
Paul Thiele, one of the founders
of Sandersville-based Thiele Kaolin
Co., was instrumental in getting the
Surface Mining Act passed. In newspaper interviews from the late 1960s,
Thiele suggested converting the
larger pits to ponds or lakes, reconditioning other land to underbrush
for animals to repopulate or planting pine trees so the land would be
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

profitable again after some time.
The kaolin companies have
done exactly that. Reclamation-
restoring the land to be used for
growing pine trees or to be beneficial to wildlife after the mining
is complete-is a huge part of the
kaolin industry. Lemke says kaolin
mining companies are extremely
proud of their reclamation efforts
and-through the Georgia Mining
Association-compete for annual
reclamation awards.
Reclamation efforts by the kaolin
industry often become community
projects. For example, after an eagle
was spotted in the area, IMERYS
Kaolin in Sandersville made the
land available for construction of an
25


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2017

Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 3
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 5
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 6
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 7
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 8
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 9
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 10
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 11
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 12
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 13
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 14
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 15
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 16
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 17
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 18
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 19
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 20
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 21
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 22
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 23
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 24
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 25
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 26
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 27
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 28
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 29
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 30
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 31
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 32
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 33
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 34
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 34A
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 34B
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 34C
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 34D
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 35
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 36
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 37
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 38
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 39
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 40
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 40A
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 40B
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 40C
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 40D
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 41
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 42
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 42A
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 42B
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - Cover4
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