Barite
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Barite

Iran as a prominent name in oil and gas industries has several active Barite mines and MGT Mineral Company is so honored to have a great trading relationship with most of them. MGT Mineral Company can supply all grades of Barite and export them with various types of packaging.

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 What is Barite?

Barite, or Bayite, (BaSO4) is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate. Barite itself is generally white or colorless, and is the main industrial source of barium. The Barite group consists of Barite, Celestine, Anglesite and Anhydrite. Barites, when pure, contain 58.8% barium and 41.2% sulphate. Barites can sometimes contain Strontium (Sr), and forms a complete solid solution series to the mineral Celestine (SrSO4).

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Specific gravity (SG) of 4.5 g/cm3 is Lead to count Barite as a heavy mineral. High density, chemical inertness and abundance make Barite a precious mineral for drilling fluids. Increasing weight of drilling mud is the most important application of Barite.

Physical Properties of Barite

Chemical Formula

BaSO4

Cleavage

{010} Perfect, {210} Perfect, {010} Imperfect

System

Orthorhombic

Color

White, Yellowish white, Grayish white, Brownish white, dark brown.

Density

4.3-4.6 g/cm3

Diaphaneity

Transparent to translucent to opaque

Fracture

Uneven - Flat surfaces (not cleavage) fractured in an uneven pattern.

Tenacity

Brittle

Habit

Massive - Fibrous - Distinctly fibrous fine-grained forms;

Prismatic - Crystals Shaped like Slender Prisms (e.g. tourmaline);

Tabular - Form dimensions are thin in one direction.

Hardness (Mohs)

3-3.5

Luminescence

Phosphorescent

Luster

Vitreous (Glassy)

Streak

white

Geological Setting

Commonly found as a gangue mineral in metallic ore deposits of epithermal or mesothermal origin; but it may also be found as lenses or replaCement deposits in sedimentary rocks, both of hypogene and supergene origin.

Barite Occurrence

Barite occurs in many geological environments in sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. Three major types of deposits can be defined: vein and cavity filling, bedded, and residual.

The vein and cavity-filling deposits are those in which Barite and associated minerals occur along faults, gashes, joints, and bedding planes, and breccia zones, solution channels, and various sink structures. The solution channel and sink structures are most abundant in limestone.

The bedded deposits are those in which Barite of either epigenetic or syngenetic origin is restricted to certain beds or a sequence of beds in sedimentary rocks. Commercially important deposits of this type contain fine-grained, massive Barite or abundant crystals and masses of Barite.

The residual deposits are those concentrations of Barite, generally in clay that are derived from preexisting rocks containing Barite. Most residual deposits, such as those in Missouri, Georgia, and Tennessee, are derived from Barite deposits that might not have been of commercial grade in their original occurrence as veins in bedrock.

Economic Classification

The industrial specifications for different use of Barites vary widely, even among manufacturers or industries. In order to assess the quality of Barite ores from the studied fields, the measured geotechnical and geochemical properties are compared with some generally acceptable standards for processed Barite. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and American Petroleum Institute (API) are two organizations provide a general specification standard for Barite Ores.

API and ASTM general specification standards for various uses of Barite Ores.
Standard Specific gravity BaSO4 (BaO) Soluble alkaline content (Sr and Ca) Heavy metals   Fe2O3 SiO2   Al2O3   Moisture Content
API (mud) 4.2(min) 92% (min) 250ppm (max) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
ASTM:
Glass N/A 95% (min) N/A N/A 0.15% (max) 1.5% (max) 0.15% (max) N/A
Pharmaceuticals N/A 97.5% (min) <0.01ppm <0.001ppm (max) N/A 1.5% (max) N/A N/A
Paint N/A 95% (min) 0.2% (max) N/A 0.05% (max) N/A N/A 0.5% (max)
Chemicals N/A 92% (min) 1% (max) N/A 1% (max) N/A N/A N/A
ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials API - American Petroleum Institute N/A - Not Applicable

 Barite Usages:

  • In the oil industry, Barites is chiefly used as drilling mud. Rotary drilling is generally adapted for development of oil fields in which circulation of drilling fluid or mud is a main feature. As the drill bit of the oil rig grinds its way towards the core of the earth in search of oil, the bit has to be cleaned, flushed and lubricated. The main functions of drilling fluids or muds are:
  1. To cool and lubricate the drilling bit and drilling string;
  2. To remove cuttings from the bits and to transport them to the surface;
  3. To have thixotropic or gelling properties so that in the event of a pump failure, the mud will gel and hold all the cuttings in suspension;
  4. To Cement the open wall of the well to counteract any tendency for a loose formation to cave into the well;
  5. To control the pressure in the well by virtue of the mud's high specific gravity and to prevent a well running wild in the event of oil or gas being met under pressure;
  6. To reduce the friction in the drilling string.
  • Barite is also used as a Pigment in paints and as weighted filler for paper, cloth and rubber. The paper used to make some playing cards has Barite packed between the paper fibers. This gives the paper suitable density that players need to play easily.
  • Barite is the major source of barium, which is used to make a wide variety of barium compounds. Some of these are used for x-ray shielding. Barite has the ability to block x-ray and gamma-ray emissions. Barite is used to make high-density concrete to block x-ray emissions in hospitals, powerhouses, and laboratories.

  • Barite compounds are also used in diagnostic medical tests. If a patient drinks a small cup of liquid that contains a barium powder in a milkshake consistency, the liquid will coat the patient's esophagus. An x-ray of the throat taken immediately after the "barium swallow" will image the soft tissue of the esophagus (which is usually transparent to x-rays) because the barium is opaque to x-rays and blocks their passage. A "barium enema" can be used in a similar way to image the shape of the colon.

In the construction industry, some Barites is used in concrete aggregate to weigh down pipeline buried in marshy areas and to shield nuclear reactors. About 10% of Barites is used with rubber and asphalt in a paving mixture suitably durable for parking lots, roads, and airport runways.

 

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