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Barite

Barite is a mineral consisting of Barium Sulfate. It most often occurs in hydrothermal veins. It is a relatively inert mineral with a high density. It is the primary ore of barium. The most common use of barite is as a weighting agent in drilling mud.

USES:
Most barite produced is used as a weighting agent in drilling mud. These high density muds are circulated down the drill stem and return to the surface between the drill stem and the wall of the well. This action effectively flushes the cuttings produced by the drill and carries them to the surface. Barite is also used as a pigment in paints and as weighted filler for paper and cloth. It is the primary ore of barium. Barite's high density mvakes it opaque to x-rays. If it is given to a patient as a drink or enema it can be used to image the shape of internal organs by x-ray.

COLOR:
White, light brown, light grey

STREAK:
White, brown

LUSTER:
Vitreous

HARDNESS:
2.5 – 4.0

SPECIFIC GRAVITY:
Not less than 4.20

CRYSTAL SYSTEM:
Orthorhombic

CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION:
Sulfate

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:
BaSO4