Barium sulphate is an inorganic compound which appears in white crystalline solid and is odorless as well as insoluble in water. Barite is one of the most important commercial sources of barium and other different compounds comprising barium. The high density and white opaque appearance of the barium sulphate are the important factors that are exploited in its different major applications. It finds various other applications as the drilling fluids, paper brightener, pigments, radio-contrast agent and as a catalyst support. It is mainly used to increase the density of the fluids. Moreover, it is being used for various purposes such as the formulation of barium salts, printing inks, paints, pigments, special glass, paper, and others.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), barium is the 16th richest non-gaseous element of the earth’s crust, constituting about 0.04% of it. The two most predominant naturally occurring barium ores are barite (barium sulfate) and witherite (barium carbonate). Barite occurs mainly in sedimentary formations, as residual nodules resulting from weathering of barite-containing sediments, and in beds along with fluorspar, metallic sulfides, and other minerals. Witherite is found in veins and is frequently related with lead sulfide. Barium is found in coal at concentrations up to 3000 mg/kg, as well as in fuel oils. Evaluations of terrestrial and marine concentrations of barium are 250 and 0.006 g/ton, respectively.
Factors Influencing Market Scenario:
The increasing demand for the highly purified fluids has driven the overall growth of the market. The increasing automobile industry is expected to boost the growth of paints and coatings industry, which, in turn, drive the growth of the market. Moreover, rising construction industry may also propel the barium sulphate market. The barium sulphate is used to help diagnose certain disorders of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines by means of x-rays, which is another major driver for the market growth. Additionally, the increasing demand for polypropylene and polystyrene in different packaging applications is estimated to drive the growth of the market. The other elements responsible for booming the market include the development of high-tech diagnostic techniques and new innovative diagnostic technologies. However, due to advanced technology, the use of barium sulphate in x-rays is reduced, which is one of the major restraining factors in the market.
According to the regional overview, the market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Latin America, Middle East & Africa (LAMEA). North America is expected to be the largest consumer of barium sulphate owing to the increasing demand for the automobile and steel industry. Asia Pacific is estimated to be the next largest consumer of the market due to the rise in the industrial growth coupled with the civil constructions in China. Moreover, the rapidly growing automobile industry in APAC region will increase the overall demand for paints and coatings, ultimately driving the growth of the market in this region.
For instance, in June 2017, Honey Badger Exploration Inc. has announced an acquisition of zinc and barite assets located in Québec (the ""Mineral Properties""). The three properties include- the Upton Property, the Saint-Fabien Property, and the Kamouraska Property - collectively span 642.0 hectares and are ideally located near the US border, close to roads, power lines, and infrastructure.
The market comprises of some of the major players including Dongfeng Chemical, Foshan Onmillion Nano Material, Sachtleben Chemie, Shaanxi Fuhua Chemical, Shenzhou Jiaxin Chemical, Xuri Group, XinJiXibo, ValourImpex, and Nippon.
The above players go through various development strategies such as merger, product launch, collaboration, and others to sustain the growth of the market.
For instance, in March 2018, Voyageur Minerals Ltd. announced that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”), to access IMC’s proprietary processing technology for the production of high-purity barium sulphate (“barite”).
Additionally, in December 12, Benz Mining Corp. announced the completion of barite assays for its 2017 drill hole campaign on the Mel Main Zone zinc-lead and barite deposit.
Barium Sulphate Market Segmentation:
By Manufacturing Process:
• Carbothermal Reduction
• Reaction with Sulfuric Acid
• Drilling Fluids
• Paper Brightener
• Plastics Filler
• Radio-Contrast Agent
• Oil & Gas
• Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
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