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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Barytes, also called barite. Barite is the unofficial American spelling. The mineral is also called heavy spar or tiff.
  • Baryte (BaSO4) is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate.
  • It is generally white or colorless, and is the main source of barium.
  • Barite (barium sulphate, BaSO4), the only commercial source of barium and barium compounds.
  • Barite, a name that was derived from the Greek word "barus" (heavy), is the mineralogical name for barium sulfate.

Origin & Mining Process

  • Baryte commonly occurs in lead-zinc veins in limestones, in hot spring deposits, and with hematite ore.
  • Over 160 barite deposits or occurrences have been documented in South Australia, with a total recorded production of 690 000 t.
  • The geologic origin of most of the barite beds and cemented barite deposits has been the subject of much debate.
  • Most barite is mined from layers of sedimentary rock which formed when barite precipitated onto the bottom of the ocean.
  • A phosphorous-rich amorphous phase preceded the more crystalline barite formation.
  • Barite is most commonly coarse grained; it also occurs as platy crystals or fine-grained compact masses that may be white, light yellow, light grey, brown, pink or blue.
  • Commercial barite is mined from surface or near-surface deposits by open-pit or underground mining methods.

Application

  • Baryte is used in the manufacture of paints and paper.
  • Baryte that is used as an aggregate in a "heavy" cement is crushed and screened to a uniform size.
  • Barite (BaSO4) is a nonmetallic mineral used primarily as a weighting agent in drilling muds in the oil and gas industry.
  • Barite has the unique ability to strongly absorb x-rays and gamma rays.
  • Various grades of barite are suitable for use in chemical markets, pigments applications, industrial fillers, and drilling muds.
  • The amount of mercury discharged with barite can be estimated during drilling activities.

Market

  • The worldwide oil field barytes market is currently faced with shortages of API grade baryte.
  • The economics of drilling barite’s low delivered cost rules out many of the world’s known deposits.
  • At present barite is produced in 66 countries, and China is the largest producer and has the largest ore reserves, followed by the United States and India.
  • China's most important mineral products—coal, petroleum, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, mercury, antimony, tin, molybdenum, barite, fluorspar, magnesite, and rare earths.
  • China supplies most of the imported barite; domestic production was only 33% of the total. The average price per ton was $25.58.

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