Mineral Facts and Problems: 1960 Edition Page: 87
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At Magnet Cove, Ark., barite occurs in a shale.
Chert, flint, pyrite, various carbonate minerals,
and iron oxides occur dispersed throughout
the barite horizon.
Residual deposits are best exemplified by
those occurring in Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia,
and other Eastern States.
In South Carolina, barite occurs as fissure
veins and lenses in a quartz sericite schist and
has also been reported occurring disseminated
throughout the schist.
Detailed descriptions of various barite de-
posits are given in the publications listed in
MINING AND MILLING
The methods of mining and preparation of
barite depend on the type of deposit and the
ultimate use. Residual barite deposits are
mined by open-pit methods. The clay is
removed in log washers, and fine barite con-
tained in the overflow may be recovered by
tabling and froth flotation. Barite mined in
Arkansas is recovered by both open-pit and
underground methods. The material is ground
and beneficiated by froth flotation. In some
locations, barite occurring in veins is mined
by shrinkage stoping methods and recovered
Barite is ground either wet or dry depending
on whether it is to be bleached. For use in
well drilling or filler, it is ground dry in ball
or Raymond mills. Arkansas material, since
it must be floated, is wet ground. In Georgia,
barite is dry ground in a 5-roll Raymond mill.
In Missouri, unbleached barite is dry-ground
and material to be bleached is wet-ground.
Details of the bleaching operations are con-
sidered trade secrets; however, the general
principles are well known. The impurities are
brought into solution by treating the ground
barite with sulfuric acid; the pulp is then
settled and separated and the impurities
washed out. This is followed by drying and
Barite before being converted to lithopone or
barium chemicals is first converted into an
intermediate soluble form. This is accom-
plished by roasting crushed barite in a kiln
with carbon to reduce barium sulfate to the
more soluble barium sulfide, commonly called
black ash. The black ash is leached with hot
water. To make lithopone, a solution of zinc
sulfate is added to the leach liquor and an
intimate mixture of barium sulfate and zinc
sulfide is produced. This mixture is then
filtered, washed, and dried. Blanc fixe is made
by adding sodium sulfate to the black ash
solution and precipitating barium sulfate.
Barium carbonate is manufactured by adding
sodium carbonate to the black ash solution
and precipitating barium carbonate. Barium
carbonate is the starting point for manufactur-
ing various other barium chemicals (11, 22).2
The most important use of barite is as a
weighting agent in well-drilling muds. Drilling
muds generally serve several purposes; they
lubricate and cool the bit, plaster the walls of
the drill hole to prevent caving, carry the cut-
tings up the well to the surface, and (the purpose
for which the barite is used) restrain high gas
and oil pressures to their formation levels to
prevent "blowouts." This type of drilling
mud was patented in 1926 and placed on the
market under the trade name "Baroid" by
National Pigments and Chemical Co. (now
National Lead Co.). A royalty of $13 a ton
was charged until the patent expired in 1943.
Crushed barite (16- to 20-mesh) is used by
the glass industry. This material when added
to the glass melt fluxes the heat-insulating
froth that forms on the surface of the melt,
thus saving fuel, and also acts as an oxidizer
and decolorizer, making the glass more workable
and increasing brilliance. Fine-ground barite
can be used for this purpose when crushed
material is not available.
Barite is also used as a filler or extender in
paint, inks, oilcloth, linoleum, rubber, and
Barite is the raw material used in manufactur-
ing lithopone (an intimate mixture of two
precipitated salts, zinc sulfide and barium
sulfate, used as a white pigment in paints) and
in manufacturing various barium chemicals
such as barium carbonate, precipitated barium
sulfate, barium chloride, barium oxide, barium
peroxide, barium hydroxide, barium nitrate,
Blanc fixe, precipitated barium sulfate, is
used as a white filler in paints, rubber, inks, and
other material where a higher degree of purity
is required than is found in the natural barite.
Barium chloride is used in case hardening,
in leather and cloth, in making magnesium
metal, in preventing scum on brick, and in
water treatment. Fused barium chloride may
be electrolyzed to produce barium metal.
Barium carbonate is used as a component in
ceramic glazes and enamels and also to prevent
formation of scum on ceramics. It diminishes
porosity and prevents discoloration in bricks
and is also used in making crown and flint
Barium oxide is used in glass and in manu-
facturing barium peroxide. In electric ferrous
metallurgy it is used to increase the life of acid
furnace linings, give a quieter and steadier arc,
and reduce sulfur and slag viscosity.
t'Italiczed numbers in parentheses refer to items in the bibliography
at end Of chapter.
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United States. Bureau of Mines. Mineral Facts and Problems: 1960 Edition, report, 1960; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38790/m1/95/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.