Bentonite and it’s many uses

The Coalgate Bentonite deposit is a vast (10 Million tonnes plus) high quality resource and occurs in the foothills of the Canterbury Plains approximately 70km west of Christchurch and located in close proximity to the main site and processing plant. In its natural state Coalgate Bentonite is a non-swelling Beidellite. Utilising specialised manufacturing techniques the raw material is partially modified to optimise the ion exchange and swelling characteristics of the clay to produce a range of Sodium Bentonite products, the majority of which are further processed to produce a typically less than two micron product that is packaged and prepared for market.

Agricultural applications

Calben is the trade name applied to natural Calcium Bentonite following processing into a fine powder and is used primarily as a horticultural growth medium.

Rheogel® is also as a specialised fertiliser to help retain soil nutrients. It produces outstanding results as a soil improver, and composting auxiliary in liquid manure treatments.

Rheogel® as a stock feed additive, contributes to improved protein utilisation, acts as a buffer against rumen acidosis, absorbs excess ammonia and toxic substances, reduces scouring and generally improves the health and wellbeing of livestock


Because of bentonites nature of absorbing oils, it makes it the perfect additive for skin care and cosmetics.

Its formula when included in liquid products helps prevent clumping, in creams it makes the formula less transparent and more visually appealing and makes skin foundation less cakey when applied to the face.

Bentonite is not known to cause any side effects and is not a common allergen. Because of its natural origins bentonite is the perfect ingredient in natural skin products, including vegan and organic ranges.

Bentonite is also perfect for use as a face mask as it draws excess oil and impurities to the surface of the skin and removes dead skin.


We have a range of Rheogel products that are specifically made for both offshore and onshore drilling. They work by enhancing the fluid viscosity and gel strength of drilling muds.


RheoMud X® and Rheogel® LX Pellets are well established as New Zealand's premier drilling products.

Rheogel LX pellets are available in two size grades, and are a specially formulated sodium bentonite clay. This material is used to seal and plug boreholes as well as drilling, grouting civil and geo-technical applications.

There is no mixing required which makes Reogel LX easy to apply. The material inhibits vertical movements of liquids in the hole between permeable zones and inhibits entry of surface water into boreholes.

Rheomud X is intended to be used in drilling, grouting, civil and geotechnical applications. It provides low chloride concentrations which enhances drilling fluid viscosity and gel strength.

The product can perform over a wide pH range and contains no VOC or surfactant components to harm the environment.

All our Rheogel® products conform to API specifications 13A, 16th Edition, Feb 2004, Section & 11.

Geotechinical & Environmental

Bentonite is used in the construction of geo composite-clay liners which are utilised in tunnelling, land capping and land fill cell construction.

Bentonite also is a great suspension aid when construction underground slurry walls and barriers.

Our Rheogel® products are specifically designed for a variety of geotechnical and environmental applications, sealing ponds, reservoirs, piling, grouting, electrical earthing and caisson sinking.

Paper Industry

Our Rheogel PG is a modified Bentonite clay pigment supplied as a free flowing powder. Its main application is for papermaking where it aids in superior wet end retention of fines, CaC03, Ti02 and kaolin clay in papermaking furnishes.

Rheogel PG will help maximise profits and decreases losses though improving overall production efficiency, enhancing wet-end colloidal retention and improving paper machine output.

The product provides stable wet end conditions to improve sheet uniformity and papermaking properties, decreases white water solids and enhances drainage for energy saving in sheet forming(processing and drying).

Because Rheogel PG contains no VOC or surfactant components it prevents harm to the environment.

Waste Water & Tertiary Effluent Applications

Our Benfloc ® range of products are specifically designed with the intent to improve flocculent development and colloidal solids capture in tertiary effluent applications.

Bentonite slurries, in concentrations as low as 20-80 ppm act as excellent coagulants in the treatment of waste effluents. Subsequent flocculation and setting can be achieved by 1-2 ppm dosage of various polymer additives.

The Benfloc ® products are more environmentally acceptable than other alternatives.

Reservoir and Pond lining

Our bentonite product Rheogel L can be used to counter issues of leakage in reservoirs and ponds. The low porosity characteristics of our Rhelogel L make it the ideal candidate to act as a impermeable layer which inhibits the flow of water through it. The protective layer of soil/clay protects the seal and also provides adequate downward pressure to encourage horizontal swelling.

Application is based on the mixed blanket method, which is based on altering in situ materials with the addition of a suitable volume of Rheogel L per square meter of area to be lined.  

Rheogel L is a high quality sodium modified bentonite clay pigment supplied as a free flowing powder. It can swell to 1400% of its original size when in contact with water.

Using Rheogel L provides a high quality product that is long lasting and low maintenance. The mixed blanket method when including the protective layer is over 250mm thick which means that it is extremely hard to impact.