Barite is a mineral composed of barium sulphate (BaSO4). It receives its name from the Greek word "barys" which means "heavy." This name is in response to barite's high specific gravity of 4.5, which is exceptional for a non-metallic mineral.
Barite occurs in hydrothermal ore veins in sedimentary rocks such as limestone, in clay deposits formed by the weathering of limestone, in marine deposits, and in cavities in igneous rock.
Barium was first isolated by electrolysis of molten barium salts in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy in England. The American Petroleum Institute specification API 13/ISO 13500, which governs baryte for drilling purposes.
Barite increases the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling mud allowing it to compensate for high-pressure zones experienced during drilling. The softness of the mineral also prevents it from damaging drilling tools during drilling and enables it to serve as a lubricant.
Barite (also spelled Baryte) is a common mineral but somewhat rare as a gemstone because clean, facet grade crystals are difficult to find. Barite (BaSO4) is the most common barium mineral and is the barium analog of Celestine (Celestite) (SrSO4).
In 2021, China produced 2.8 million metric tonnes of Barite from mines, making it the world's largest producer worldwide. India being the second leading country that year.
In India, Andhra Pradesh contributes 98 percent Of the total production.
In Andhra Pradesh, Mangampet village in cuddapah district has one of the world's largest Barite deposits, accounting for more than 98% of Barite production in India.