Garuda starts new barytes processing plant

India’s tender for sale of crude barytes ore concluded earlier this week, with a total of 400,000 tonnes of barytes sold by the country’s dominant producer, state government-owned Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp. Ltd (APMDC).

The tender is normally conducted once every three years, and was due in 2014, however, a series of issues led to its postponement to early 2015.

Two grades of crude barytes were sold at prices established at the time of the tender: 300,000 tonnes of 4.20 SG at INR6050(US$94.2)/tonne and 100,000 tonnes of SG 4.10 at INR4,775(US$74.3)/tonne. These prices are ex-mine basis, and do not include taxes, royalties, handling or other costs.

APMDC mine

Part of APMDC’s vast barytes mining complex at Mangampet, Andhra Pradesh, India. The single largest barytes mine in the world.Courtesy IBC Ltd.

Of its total production of barytes, some 1.6m tonnes in 2012-13, APMDC exports about 60% and allots 40% to local processing plants via the tri-annual tender.

The successful bidders for the 300,000 tonnes of 4.20 SG grade were Ashapura Group, Oren Hydrocarbons, and Trimex. IBC Ltd was awarded 50,000 tonnes of 4.10 SG for six months.

The eventual sale will have come with some relief to APMDC which, in response to market feedback, was forced to modify its original tender volumes and prices announced in February 2015.

A second tender with volumes reduced by 300,000 tonnes and prices by $10-12/tonne, was announced in April, and the deadline pushed back to early May.

Learn about the latest trends and developments in barytes sourcing and marketing by listening to John Allen, Managing Director, Anglo Pacific Minerals Ltd, UK present “Barytes Sourcing & Marketing” at IMFORMED’s Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum Houston 2015, 27-29 May 2015. Book Now!

Garuda’s new barytes beneficiation plant

One of the leading trends in the Indian barytes sector is the need for suitable beneficiation plants to process the vast volumes of low grade ore mined at APMDC’s huge Mangampet barytes mine site in Andhra Pradesh.

Last week IMFORMED reported on a new upgrading initiative planned between APMDC and India’s leading barytes consumer national oil and gas explorer and producer, Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC).

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to build a plant to produce 500-700,000 tonnes of upgraded ore.

However, in January 2015, Garuda Drilling Mud Chemicals Pvt. Ltd started a new barytes beneficiation plant employing centrifugal technology located at Gajulamandyam village, Renigunta Mandal, Chitoor district, Andhra Pradesh.

The design capacity of the plant is 100,000 tpa, and initial phase production capacity is 2,500 tpm. Production is expected to rise to 6,000 tpm by December 2015.

Garuda is upgrading 3.90 SG barytes ore to 4.20 SG and targeting the US oil drilling market.

Garuda was established in 2011 to process and export barytes to the oil drilling industry. Located at Tirupati, near the APMDC mines, the company already has two Raymond mills for barytes processing and alliances with other local plants, and has a production capacity of about 15,000 tpm.

There are four basic methods of beneficiation of barytes: flotation, centrifugal, jigging, and electric separation.


Centrifugal separation provides greater efficiency in continuous recovery. Courtesy: Yaswanth Vattikunta, Director, Garuda Group

Centrifugal separation provides greater efficiency in continuous recovery and enables production of high grade concentrates at high recovery from low-grade tailings and middling streams.

Crucially for some critics of flotation methods, centrifugal beneficiation requires no chemical or physical reagents. There is concern that some grades of barytes processed with flotation retain unwanted chemical reagents.

Compared to other separation methods, centrifugal beneficiation provides for lower initial investment and operational costs, and simpler operation and lower levels of maintenance.

Want to know more about the barytes market? Listen to the following at IMFORMED’s Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum Houston 2015, 27-29 May 2015. Book Now!

Global barytes industry overview
Peter Huxtable, The Barytes Association, UK
Mexico as a reliable source of barytes
Mario Treviño Saldívar, Vice President Marketing, Baramin SA de CV, Mexico
Application of barytes in drilling fluids – the recent past and most likely future
John Newcaster, Vice President, Distribution and Logistics, Baker Hughes Inc., USA

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