Baryte (BaSO4) is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate. It is generally white or colorless, and is the main source of barium. Barite is the unofficial American spelling. The mineral is also called heavy spar or tiff. The radiating form, sometimes referred to as Bologna Stone, attained some notoriety among alchemists for the phosphorescent specimens found in the 1600s near Bologna, Italy by one Mr. Vincenzo Cascariolo. Its Mohs hardness is 3, the refractive index is 1.63 and it has a specific gravity of 4.3-5. Its crystal structure is orthorhombic.
Baryte commonly occurs in lead-zinc veins in limestones, in hot spring deposits, and with hematite ore. It is often associated with the minerals anglesite and celestine.
|MINERAL RESOURCES IN INDIA|
The all India total resources of barytes as on 1-4-2005 (provisional) are 73.67 million tonnes. Out of these 34.03 million tonnes are under Reserve Category and the balance 39.64 million tonnes are under Remaining Resource Category. Gradewise 3.11% are chemical grade, 40.18% are oil-well drilling grade, 0.6% paint grade and balance 56.11% are low, other, unclassified and not known grades. Out of the total resources, 43.20% are in freehold and 56.8% are in leasehold sector.
India is having 10% of total world resources mostly concentrated in Mangampet area of Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh. Barytes deposits found in India are of vein or fracture fillings and bedded types. Bedded type of deposit is found only in Mangampet area. Presently there is no thrust on exploration of barytes after the discovery of Mangampet baryte deposits.
Barytes mines in India are worked opencast, except two in Rajasthan and Four in Andhra Pradesh.