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barite (baryte) A mineral, BaSO4, which may form a solid solution series with celestite (SrSO4); sp. gr. 4.3–4.6; hardness 3.0–3.5; orthorhombic; colourless to white, often tinged yellow, brown, blue, green, and red; white streak; vitreous lustre; crystals commonly tabular, prismatic, but can be fibrous, lamellar, and often granular; cleavage perfect {001}, present {210}, {010}. Occurs as a vein filling, as a gangue mineral with ores of lead, copper, zinc, silver, iron, and nickel, associated with calcite, quartz, fluorite, dolomite, and siderite, and as a low-temperature mineral which also occurs as a replacement for limestone, and as a cement in sandstone. Insoluble in acid. It is used as a weighting agent in drilling muds, in the chemical industry, in the manufacture of rubber, paper, and high-quality paints, and as an X-ray absorbent.

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barite Translucent, white or yellow mineral, barium sulphate (BaSO4), found in sedimentary rocks and in ore veins in limestone. Radiating clusters of crystals are called ‘barite roses’. It occurs as a gangue mineral with ores of lead, copper and zinc, and as a replacement for limestone. It is used as a weighting agent in oil-rig drilling, and in the chemical industry for paper-making, rubber manufacture, high-quality paints and X-rays. Hardness: 3–3.5; r.d. 4.5.

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bar·ite / ˈbe(ə)rīt; ˈbar-/ • n. a mineral consisting of barium sulfate, typically occurring as colorless prismatic crystals or thin white flakes.

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