Before 1953 almost no barite deposits were known in Pakistan. Discovery of such deposits relatively close to oil fields in northern Pakistan in 1953 led to increased barite production from 1957 to 1961 and to doubling of production in 1962, firmly establishing new industry for the country.
During 1962 and 1963, most of the known barite deposits in Pakistan were geologically mapped, and minimum reserves were estimated to be 1,423,000 short tons. The largest single deposit, Ehuzdar, is estimated to contain more than 1,100,000 short tons of barite.
Barite has been found in Pakistan principally in the Hazara, Khuzdar, and Las Bela districts. Although several vein deposits contain good quality barite, 90 percent of estimated reserves are in replacement deposits concordant to bedding in sedimentary rocks. Host rocks range in age from Precambrian to Pleistocene, but the periods of barite deposition are probably Jurassic or younger. Some barite concentrated in sandstone may be of detrital origin.
In late 1962, demand for barite in Pakistan was estimated at about 8,000 tons annually. Although domestic barite resources exceed this figure, less than 40 percent of demand was being supplied by domestic nines in 1963. Transportation costs and limited production facilities are partly responsible for output, but the lack of quality control is a major obstacle.
Producers are not generally familiar with commercial specifications for barite and have net recognized that their products are too impure to be successfully marketed without installing the necessarycontrol procedures of sampling and beneficiation.