PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Talc quarrying machines. Pile of talc rock being dumped by an excavator into a mining truck at a talc quarry. Talc (hydrated magnesium silicate) is a very soft mineral that is the main component of talcum powder. After being quarried, the rock is crushed into powder form and is also used in paper, plastics, cosmetics and paints. This is the talc quarry in Luzenac, France, the largest talc quarry in the world. It is at an altitude of 1800 metres in the Ariege region of France. Founded in 1905, it produces 400,000 tonnes of talc in a year.
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