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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Morse, David E.
Barite,   pp. 85-94 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 85

Barite 
By David E. Morse1 
Table 1.—Salient barite and barium-chemical statistics 
(Thousand short tens and thousand dollars) 
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
United States 
Barite: 
Primary (sold or used by producers)          Value                      
Exports                             Value                              
Imports for consumption (crude)            Value                        
Crushed and ground (sold or used by producersL — Value        
  Barium chemicals (sold or used by producers) — — —
  Value                            World:Production                     
1,318 
$21,200 
57 
$2,871 
634 
$8,541 
1,807 
$73,075 
43 
$15,556 
5,419 
1,234 
$28,689 
41 
$2,871 
905 
' $24,849 
2,204 
$93,283 
52 
$19,698 
r5,736 
1,494 
$30,264 
50 
$3,436 
955 
' $25,787 
2,593 
$110,409 
56 
$23,151 
p6,392 
2,112 
$43,981 
39 
$2,724 
1,291 
' $40,525 
2,702 
$123,433 
55 
$24,018 
7,511 
"1,937 
"$48,024 
109 
$10,861 
1,489 
' $64,072 
3,019 
$168,096 
50 
$26,063 
e7610 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
  85 
 Domestic production of barite declined to 1.94 million tons in 1979 after
a recordsetting 2.11 million tons in 1978. Nevada continued to lead all States
with a reported production of 1.79 million tons of barite in 1978 and 1.73
million tons in 1979. Other principal producing States in 1979 were Missouri
and Georgia. Imports of crude barite continued to increase, reaching 1.29
eExt~,,~ate °Prellininary. ~ 
' C.i.f. values reported. Customs values were reported in prior years. 
 In 1979, primary barite production was reported from 32 mines: 16 in Nevada,
7 in Missouri, 2 each in Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee, and 1 each in
Arkansas, Montana, and New Mexico. New Mexico showed production for the first
time since 1965. Nevada continued to be the leading producing State in both
1978 and 1979. The other producing States in descending order of production
in 1979 were Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia, Montana, Illinois, Tennessee, and
New Mexico. There was some barite mined in Alaska, but the sole producer
declined to report production. 
million tons in 1978 and 1.49 million tons in 1979. The principal use for
barite, as a weighting agent in oil- and gas-well drilling muds, accounted
for 92% of total U.S. consumption in 1978 and 94% in 1979. Oil- and gas-well
drilling increased 5.3% to a record 238.6 million feet in 1979; barite used
by the drilling industry increased to 2.84 million tons breaking the record
set in 1978. 
 The term "primary barite" is the first marketable product, and
includes
crude or run-of-mine barite, flotation concentrates, and other beneficiated
material such as washer, jig, or magnetic separation concentrates. Run-of-mine
barite sold or used by producers represented 51% of total production in 1978
compared with 67% of the 1979 production total; other beneficiated material
made up 45% of the total in 1978 compared with 29% of the 1979 total; flotation
concentrate represented 4% of total production in 1978-79. 
 The leading producers of domestic barite 


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