Anhydrite

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Information @ a Glance

  • An anhydrous calcium sulfate, Mineral CaSO4 which is in the orthorhombic crystal form with three directions of cleavage parallel to the three planes of symmetry.
  • Anhydrite is found as a constituent of Evaporite deposits, typically associated with gypsum, alkali halides and carbonates.
  • Colours of anhydrite vary from colorless to pale blue or violet if transparent; white, mauve, rose, pale brown or gray from included impurities.
  • This Sulphate mineral is also observed in submarine hydrothermal systems, and in some igneous rocks.
  • Direct heating of gypsum to about 360oC is required to form anhydrite; at lower temperatures.
  • A major component deposits in sedimentary and in cap rocks above salt domes which formed by
    dehydration of gypsum and also an alternation product in hydrothermal mineral deposits.
  • Naturally occurring anhydrite is a rare mineral since it readily transforms into gypsum when exposed to water. Reverse process is also possible, creating anhydrite by dehydrating gypsum.
  • Associated with Calcite, halite and sulphides in some vein deposits.
  • Anhydrite is used for the production of sulfuric acid and as a filler in paper.
  • Gypsum and anhydrite are used in the preparation of various prefabricated products such as lath, veneer base, and sheathing.
  • Occurs in fluid inclusions in minerals of carbonatites, alkaline igneous rocks and ores of magmatic origin.
  • Depending on its geological history, it may occur as either primary or secondary minerals in a deposit.
  • Anhydrite increases the weight of the finished wall board products and is abrasive to grinding and processing equipment.
  • When compared to gypsum, anhydrite as a contaminant which is harder and denser and also contains higher levels of soluble salts.
  • By the year of 2017, the global market for gypsum and anhydrite is forecast to reach 211.6 million metric tons.

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