Baryte, also known as barite, is a mineral that consists of barium sulfate (BaSO4). The name baryte is derived from the Greek word βαρύς (heavy), which is fitting given that it is often used as a weighting agent in drilling muds.
India is one of the top producers of baryte and Indian baryte is well-regarded for its various industrial uses, including as a constituent of drilling mud in the oil exploration industry. In addition to its use in the oil and gas industry, barytes is also used as a filler in plastics and rubber products, as well as in the production of paint, paper, and ceramics. It is also used in the medical industry as a contrast agent for certain medical imaging techniques.
Barite is also found as concretions in sand and sandstone. These concretions grow as barite crystallizes within the interstitial spaces between sand grains. Sometimes crystals of barite grow into interesting shapes within the sand. These structures are known as “barite roses”.