Natural ‧ Green ‧ Clean

ico-phone.png+32 2 205 0840


Volume 4 Issue 1 Spring 2004


Update on Members and Activities

  • This is an early edition of our "Spring" newsletter ahead of the Chennai General Assembly on 3rd - 4th March. At the time of writing some 13 of our 18 members are planning to send representatives and we expect to see around 20 at the Assembly, and for the Mine tour. We will welcome as observers (and hopefully potential members) Rajamohan Reddy of IBCL and Harpreet Singh of Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development. Our thanks to Prasad Koneru of Trimex who are hosting the event and to Samir Goenka of Gimpex for their support and the Assembly dinner.
  • With the sale of Cimbar to UMP at the end of last year, Baroid have now joined directly as members and we welcome them - and the welcome extended to Joe Taylor from Houston who is attending his first Assembly.
  • We have three potential members in our immediate sights - from the US, Canada and from Morocco - and will update further at the meeting
  • A first draft of the 2003 annual survey of production and sales indicates a marginally lower production output from members' own barytes mines of 1.6 million tonnes (1.7mt in 2002) but an increased overall sales output of 3.2 million tonnes (3.1mt in 2002). 80% of sales were to the oil sector (81% in 2002).
  • We featured twice recently in Industrial Minerals with extended articles - MI's John Newcaster on the oil sector, and the detailed article this month on fillers to which we and several members contributed.
  • Thank you for the 6 completed SDI questionnaires covering both 2002 and 2003 - and hopefully I will receive sufficiently more to enable a presentation at the Assembly. This information previously gave a very positive face to the barytes industry worldwide.
  • Thank you also to those who have sent me their product specification and health and safety information that is provided for customers. This will assist in further positive presentation and risk assessment data for the barytes industry as a whole. If you have yet to send your information - please try and get it to me ahead of Chennai.
  • Thanks also for the many members who have already paid their 2004 subscriptions - and a reminder to others to attend to this at the earliest, preferably again ahead of the March Assembly.
  • The agenda and papers for the General Assembly will also be posted on our website  along with this newsletter.
  • Website. A request for you to check personal and company details on the site - and also to ensure your regional offices and mines around the world are itemised.

Industry Update

  • Minerals are not Chemicals A continued high priority area.

To ensure the continued commitment to exclude natural minerals like barytes that have only been physivcally processed from the EU REACH proposals.

To demonstrate the advantages of barytes over possible alternate materials.

To explain why barytes does not recycle.

To demonstrate the inert nature of our mineral barytes output on eco-systems.

To counter the British Geological Survey mis-representation of barytes " Ospar - Barytes in Drilling Muds Our efforts as an Association resulted in a powerful counter to Norwegian proposals to have barytes removed from the safe list (PLONOR) at the March meeting in London 2003. The next meeting of OSPAR is in Dublin in mid-March 2004.

  • Barytes in End Products Radek Pavelek of Minerals Girona will update us on his world survey at the Assembly.
  • Crystalline Silica IMA have recently held a further meeting in Brussels and are still trying to avoid classification as a carcinogen. Members who did not complete their questionnaire last year may wish to contribute (by end May) - please advise.

European Policies Corina Hebestreit will update us on the latest developments of EU initiatives relevant to our sector including …..

  • Safe Operation of Mines The "Mine Waste Directive" is now at the co-decision process between Parliament and the Commission - and there have been numerous "green" amendments filed. Parliament will debate in April and it is expected to reach Council in June. The final draft of the BAT document is currently circulating for comment. " Chemicals Directive This may now be delayed until Autumn 2004. " Groundwater and Soil Proposals " Environmental Liability

Worldwide Policies We have asked our two Indian members to brief us at the Assembly on Environmental and legislative regimes in their country - and would welcome updates from members elsewhere in the US, Australasia, South America and North Africa.

Trends in Consumption and Use The presentation line-up for Chennai will be

  • Oil Industry - Bob Goninon of Cebo " Fillers-Radek Pavelek of Minerals Girona " Other - Francis Pinier of Chaillac

Extracts from the Press

  • Nov 2003 - Mineral Price Watch (MPW) pp1-2 Chinese freight. Higher Baryte price may increase barite mining in Nevada, and use replacements like haematite. Also China VAT changes p16
  • Nov 2003 - Industrial Minerals (IM) p67 Georgia barytes -freights p74
  • Dec 2003 -IM- p12 Halliburton sale of Cimbar to UMP (United Minerals and Properties) -"Drilling Barytes Going Forward" John Newcaster (MI) article pp36-39
  • Jan 2004 - MPW - Oceans rates filter through to price hikes. Pp1-2 and MTI ups pricing on .. Barytes p3
  • Feb 2004 - IM - "Top Flight Filler - high performance barytes" pp26-33

Prices Pricing trends from "Industrial Minerals". The recent well-published shortage of freight has led to very significant price increases for barytes; as will also the decision by China to reduce VAT subsidies on barytes from January 2004.

Lump cif US gulf coast February $/t

  2001 2002 2003 2004
China 43-46 45-48 42-46 62-65
India 48-51 48-51 48-50 69-71
Morocco 50-52 50-52 50-52 62-65

Diary Dates 2004

  • 23-25 Feb SME Annual Meeting, Denver, USA
  • 3-4 Mar Barytes General Assembly, Chennai, India
  • 28-31 Mar Industrial Minerals Congress, Barcelona
  • 30 Mar-1Apr IMMM Materials Congress, London
  • 1-7 May Geology of Ind Minerals, Bloomington US
  • 13 May "Ind MineralsGrowing With Europe", Brussels
  • 5-7 Oct Xth Int Mineral Process. Cesme-Izmir, Turkey
  • 25-26 Oct Barytes General Assembly, Brussels
  • 18 Nov Industrial Minerals Forum/Dinner, Amsterdam