• July 17, 2018

Barite and graphite identified as critical minerals in the latest edition of Mining Engineering

Published on July 17th, 2018

Read the latest July Industrial Mineral Review 2017 with contributions from Principal Geologist, Dr Andrew Scogings outlining barite and graphite; two of the 35 critical minerals deemed necessary for US security.

This latest review in the Mining Engineering Magazine from The Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) outlines information on the production, consumption, uses and specifications, trade, price, geological settings and the future outlook for barite and graphite, as well as the remaining 33 import-reliant critical minerals identified in the annual mining review compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey.

This list of critical minerals will be a dynamic list updated periodically to represent current data on supply, demand and concentration of productions as well as current policy priorities. The Commerce Department has been tasked with producing a final report through its interagency.

The report due in August 2018 will seek to outline strategy, recycling technologies, as well as options for accessing critical minerals with allies and partners and ways to increase discovery.

Barite is naturally occurring barium sulfate (BaSO4) that is utilized primarily for its high density, in addition to its chemical and physical inertness, relative softness and low solubility. Pure barite has a density of 4.5 g/mL. However, natural barite products often contain impurities such as silicate minerals (e.g. quartz or chert), which reduce the density.

Graphite is an allotrope of carbon, characterized by a hexagonal structure that facilitates easy cleavage, which makes it one of the softest substances known. Graphite is gray to black, opaque, very soft, has a low density and a metallic luster. It is flexible and exhibits both metallic and nonmetallic properties, making it suitable for diverse industrial applications. Physical properties include specific gravity of 2.2, and Mohs hardness of 1-2.


Dr Andrew Scogings
Principal Geologist
Dr Scogings is a geologist with more than 25 years’ experience in industrial minerals exploration, product development and sales management.  Andrew has published papers on reporting requirements of the JORC Code 2012, with specific reference to Table 1 and Clauses 18 and 19 (industrial mineral Exploration Results) and Clause 49 (industrial mineral specifications). He has published numerous articles on industrial minerals in Industrial Minerals Magazine, SEG Mining News, AIG News and AIG Journal amongst others; addressing aspects of QA/QC, bulk density methods and petrography for industrial minerals exploration. He was recently senior author of two significant reviews: Natural Graphite Report – strategic outlook to 2020 and Drilling grade barite – Supply, Demand & Markets published in 2015 by Industrial Minerals Research (UK). He has co-authored several papers on lithium pegmatites including: Reporting Exploration Results and Mineral Resources for lithium mineralised pegmatites published during 2016 in the AIG Journal. Andrew is a Registered Professional Geoscientist (RP Geo. Industrial Minerals) with the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.

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JULY 2018

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