X-ray barium sulphate for North America

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 73, No. 820, 1980

W.J.D. STONE, President, J.D. NYE, Vice-President, and I.R. FARR, Development Manager, Magstone Development Inc., Lachine, Quebec

A unique deposit of barite exists near Brookfield, Nova Scotia. The crystals are extremely fine and the whole deposit virtually free of heavy metals. The deposit size was not large enough for conventional uses, such as the production of barium carbonate and drilling mud. In an effort to obtain maximum utilization, a program was begun to determine if U.S.P.-grade pharmaceutical barium sulphate for X-ray diagnosis could be produced.Early work was sufficiently encouraging to institute a development program under the federal Program for Advancement of Industrial Technology. This has been very successfully completed. Canadian and U.S. process patents have been issued, clinical trails have been successful, a production plant has been designed and the plant's production sold.The processing plant will include magnetic separation for the removal of iron minerals, fine grinding by paddle milling to minus one micron and acid leaching. The process is unique in that at no time is the barium taken into solution.Information is given on the deposit, process, markets, use, plant capital and operating costs, and projected profits. The initial production plant will have an annual capacity of 2,000 tons per year of end product. Capital cost is $850,000 and annual turnover more than $1.5 million. As this capacity only represents approximately 15% of the North American market, rapid plant expansion is foreseen.
Keywords: Industrial minerals, Barite, Barium sulphate, Magstone Development Inc., Paddle mills, Jones magnetic separator.