Demand for barite has been increasing rapidly as a weighing agent mainly in oil and gas drilling. In 2012, Sojitz acquired a stake in a barite mine in Mexico. This move was aimed at diversifying and stabilizing the supply structure by introducing an alternative to China, which currently dominates the barite trade. The project is moving steadily toward the first shipment, slated for 2014. This issue introduces trajectory Sojitz has reached with its investment in the barite mine and its future plans, which call for further expansion of the trade.

*Affiliations and titles are current as of the time of the posting of this article.