Barite is a mineral composed of barium sulfate (BaSO4) and derives its name from the Greek word ‘barys’, meaning “heavy.” This name is in response to barite’s high specific gravity of 4.5, which is exceptional for a nonmetallic mineral. Barite is typically white/grey in appearance but can vary from yellow, brown, red, and even black due to impurities.
Barite’s Mohs hardness is 3.0 to 3.5, making it a relatively soft mineral. It is chemically inert and insoluble, which along with its high density, lends itself to a variety of applications. Typical chemical composition: BaO 65.7%; SO3 34.3%.