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The Oraparinna Mine, that is located 500 kilometres north of Adelaide in South Australia's Flinders Ranges, began production in 1940. Normandy Industrial Minerals operated the mine from 1984 until it transferred the ownership to Unimin Australia in 2000. Throughout its long life the Oraparinna Mine has been regarded as being the largest supplier of industrial grade barite in Australia.

Ore From the Oraparinna Mine is Processed at Quorn in South Australia
The Oraparinna Mine is made up of seven levels underground, working a system of veins between one and two metres wide. The ore extracted from the workings is taken 160 kilometres by truck to the company's processing plant at Quorn. The Quorn treatment plant produces three different grades of barite from the Oraparinna ore, an “A” grade, “standard” and “B” grade. Depending on its colour, the barite is sold for use as surface coatings, plastic fillers and mould coatings for use at the Olympic Dam Mine at Roxby Downs. Some of the “A” and “standard' grade barite is trucked to the Adelaide suburb of Gillman where it undertakes fine milling.

The Oraparinna Mine is Wholly Owned by Sibelco
The current owners of the Oraparinna Mine, Sibelco Australia Limited, began its Australian operations in 2000 when it acquired Commercial Minerals. It soon after acquired David Mitchell and ACI Industrial Minerals. These businesses saw it quickly expand its influence across New Zealand as well as Australia as the purchases allowed it to become part of a long running Australian and New Zealand mineral industry. Its Lilydale site in Victoria for instance had been in continuous operation for more than 130 years. Sibelco now employ almost 1,000 people in Australia and New Zealand who are engaged in a network of more than 30 different mines, warehouses, sales offices and plants. The company is part of the worldwide Sibelco Group that began life in Belgium in 1872.

Sibelco Australia Limited processes and supplies raw material to the manufacturing and agricultural industries throughout the Asian, Australian and New Zealand areas, particularly those involved in glass making, mining, construction and industrial manufacturing and agriculture.

Barite is the Only Source of Producing Commercial Grade Barium

Barite, like that extracted from the ore mined at the Oraparinna Mine, is the only commercial means of obtaining barium and its compounds. Barite being an inert, relatively soft mineral with a high specific gravity (SG). Most of the barium compounds produced throughout the world are used in the form of a weighting agent used in the mining and drilling industry, particularly as a drilling mud in gas and oil wells. In these situations the high specific gravity of the compound helps to contain pressure and reduces the risk of blow-outs. Barium is also widely used as a heavy filler material in plastic and paint applications, rubber and special paper manufacturing. It also contains a radiation absorbing characteristic that makes it useful as a barium meal used in conjunction with xray examinations as well as for special types of concrete. Other barium compounds are used to enhance the clarity and quality of TV and optical glass and ceramic glazing.

Most of the world's barite requirement is produced in China but South Australia is Australia's largest producer with the Oraparinna Mine being the major supplier in that state.


The Sibelco Group was founded in 1872 , Sibelco began in Belguim and has since grown into a multinational business. We supply raw materials for Australia, New Zealand and Asian manufacturing and primary industries. We started operations in Australia and New Zealand in 2000, and Sibelco more


Level 16, 111 Pacific Highway
North Sydney, NSW 2060

Locked Bag 969
North Sydney, NSW 2900


Phone02 9458 2929
fax02 9458 2900

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