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What Is Baryte and Where Do I Use It?


  • Baryte (or barite) is a naturally occurring barium sulphate mineral (BaSO4). It is inert, non-toxic and almost insoluble in water. 


  • Baryte has a high density,of 4.5 g/cm3, a high fusion point (1,580°C) and brightness, and a low oilabsorption. Baryte is commonly white, or colourless, but can appear invarious colours, like grey or black, depending on the presence of impurities.


  • Barytes and barium compounds are also used as fillers or additives in industrial products including rubber, paint, ceramics and glass, high density concrete and plster, dielectrics, medical application.


Where is Baryte Produced?


  • The global producers of baryte are China 32%, India 25%, Morocco 9%, Iran 7%, Kazakhstan 7%, Mexico 4%, Turkey 4%, USA 3% and Russia 3%. 


  • During the period 2016-2020, 8.985 million tonnes of Baryte was produced on average annually in the world.

  • Only three EU countries are producers of baryte: Bulgaria, Germany and Slovakia. The production in Slovakia was interrupted after 2018. 


Global Market


  • The global production of baryte has decreased in the past 5 years, with a decline of -7.5% over the 2016-2020 period (Reichl, and Schatz, 2022). The consumption of “drilling mud" - and therefore of baryte – fluctuates from year to year, as it is correlated with the amount of exploration drilling for oil and gas, which in turn depends, among others, on oil and gas prices (EC, 2020). Thus, the baryte demand to follow global energy trends. 


  • In the short term, the global demand for oil is likely to keep growing, although the rate of growth isslowing down (IEA, 2022). However, the implementation of climate change policies is likely to impact thedemand for oil in the energy mix, substantially diminishing the baryte market. Within this context, it isexpected moderation of demand for baryte, resulting eventually in excess supply


  • In the EU, oil and gas production accounted for more than half of the baryte consumption, while the remainder went to the chemicals and filler (The Barytes Association, 2016). Figures remain unchanged from the 2020 factsheet data (EC CRM Data 2023 files). 

Specific Issues


  • Baryte is considered an environmentally friendly material as it is a natural product, presents very low solubility, and is not subject to registration under the EU REACH regulations (Barites Association 2022).


  • The Barium content of drinking water, food and soils is rarely high enough to present a human health concern and no adverse toxicological effects of barium on plants or wildlife have been reported near baryte mines or elsewhere (USGS, 2017, Menzie 2008).

  • The consumption of barytes fluctuates from year to year as it is principally dependent on the amount of exploration drilling for oil and gas, which depends on oil and gas prices.


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