Australian bauxite: Aluminium and beyond

By IM Staff
Published: Wednesday, 06 April 2016

Australia is the world’s largest producer of bauxite, with the majority used to produce alumina for the aluminium industry. Non-metallurgical applications such as refractories, proppants, building materials and pharmaceuticals make up around 10% of bauxite’s end uses, however, and many Australian miners are looking at ways to diversify.

By Cameron Perks

Bauxite, a mix of hydrated aluminium oxide minerals, including gibbsite, boehmite, diaspore and impurities such as silica, iron oxide and titanium-bearing minerals, is a key ingredient for a number of industries, including aluminium, refractoriesand ceramic proppants.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), Australia hosts 6.2bn tonnes bauxite...