National Minerals Information Center

Barite Statistics and Information

Image: Barite Rose

Sample of the mineral barite (barium sulfate) . 

(Credit: No name provided, USGS. Public domain.)

Barite, a name that was derived from the Greek word "barus" (heavy), is the mineralogical name for barium sulfate. In commerce, the mineral is sometimes referred to as "barytes."   The term "primary barite" refers to the first marketable product, which includes crude barite (run of mine) and the products of simple beneficiation methods, such as washing, jigging, heavy media separation, tabling, flotation, and magnetic separation.   Most crude barite requires some upgrading to minimum purity or density.   Barite that is used as an aggregate in a "heavy" cement is crushed and screened to a uniform size.  Most barite is ground to a small, uniform size before it is used as a filler or extender, an addition to industrial products, or a weighting agent in petroleum well drilling mud specification barite.   Although barite contains a "heavy" metal (barium), it is not a toxic chemical under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986, because it is very insoluble.

 

Subscribe to receive an email notification when a publication is added to this page.

Annual Publications

Mineral Commodity Summaries

Mineral Industry Surveys

Special Publications

Contacts

Michele McRae

USGS Mineral Commodity Specialist
Northeast Region
Phone: 703-648-7743