In the present work, the magnetic properties and the phase composition of barium ferrite BaFe12O19 powders prepared by the ammonium nitrate melt technique with Fe/Ba ratios varying from 2 to 13 was investigated. We observed that BaFe2O4 phase is formed at low values of Fe/Ba ratios (2-6) and alpha-Fe2O3 phase is formed at high values of Fe/Ba ratio as secondary phases. BaFe2O4 phase could be easily eliminated from the structure by washing the annealed powders with diluted HCI.HCI-washing is not effective for the elimination of alpha-Fe2O3 phase. Consequently, we succeed to obtain high quality single phase BaFe12O19 Powders at low Fe/Ba ratios. Highest specific saturation magnetization M, of the powders with Fe/Ba ratio of 2 was determined to be 66.7 emu/g. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.