The barite mineral group is an important industrial commodity consisting mainly of barium sulfate. With its high barium concentration it is the main source for this element and has a high relevance for many Ba-containing products. A significant amount of barite is used as weighting agent for drilling fluids in exploration but due to its white color, chemical inertness, and high density there are numerous other application areas.
Applications include the use as filler in paints and plastics, as compound in glasses to achieve a higher refractory index, as anti-wetting agent in the aluminum industry or as coating in automobile finishes.
Barite with lower concentrations of impurities achieves higher prices on the market and therefore the importance to monitor and control associated elements is increasing. One of these elements is Fe, as lower concentrations lead to whiter and brighter end products.