Barite is a mineral composed of barium sulfate (BaSO4). It is usually colorless or milky white, but can also be found in a variety of colors, including yellow, brown, gray, blue, green, pink, and black. Barite is often found in the form of crystals. It has a Mohs hardness of 3 and a specific gravity of 4.3-4.7. Barite is relatively soft and easy to break.
The name “barite” comes from the Greek word “barys,” which means “heavy.” This is due to the high specific gravity of this mineral. Barite has been used by humans for centuries. Early uses include theurgical purposes and as a pigment in paint. Barite is also used as a weighting agent in drilling fluids and as an additive in ceramic glazes. Today, barite is still an important component in both drilling fluids and ceramic glazes. It is also used in radiology for medical imaging purposes. Barite is non-toxic and does not pose any health risks when handled or ingested. However, exposure to the dust from barite can cause respiratory issues.
Barite is an important mineral with a wide range of applications. It has a long history of use and will continue to be an important part of human civilization in the future.