Bauxite is the raw material from which ALUMINIUM is made. This article ties in with the statistics of the previous post “ALUMINUM”

BAUXITE AND ALUMINA .

(Data in thousand metric dry tons unless otherwise noted)
Domestic Production and Use: Nearly all bauxite consumed in the United States was imported; of the total, more than 90% was converted to alumina.

Of the total alumina used, about 90% went to primary aluminum smelters and the remainder went to nonmetallurgical uses.

Annual alumina capacity was 5.75 million tons, with all four Bayer refineries operating during the year. Domestic bauxite was used in the production of nonmetallurgical products, such as abrasives, chemicals, and refractories.

Salient Statistics—United States: 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006e
Production, bauxite, mine NA NA NA NA NA
Imports of bauxite for consumption2 7,710 8,860 10,500 10,400 9,500
Imports of alumina3 3,010 2,310 1,650 1,860 1,700
Exports of bauxite2 52 89 75 62 45
Exports of alumina3 1,270 1,090 1,230 1,200 1,500
Shipments of bauxite from Government
stockpile excesses2 297 1,710 66 — —
Consumption, apparent, bauxite and alumina
(in aluminum equivalents)4 2,860 2,580 2,810 2,940 2,500

Price, bauxite, average value U.S. imports (f.a.s.)
dollars per ton 20 19 22 26 28
Stocks, bauxite, industry, yearend2 1,280 3,830 3,120 2,730 2,000
Net import reliance,5 bauxite and alumina,
as a percentage of apparent consumption 100 100 100 100 100

Recycling: None

Import Sources (2002-05):6 Bauxite: Jamaica, 31%; Guinea, 30%; Brazil, 17%; Guyana, 12%; and other, 10%.Alumina: Australia, 50%; Suriname, 29%; Jamaica, 9%; and other, 12%. Total: Jamaica, 23%; Guinea, 19%;Australia, 19%; Brazil, 12%; and other, 27%.Tariff: Import duties on bauxite and alumina were abolished in 1971 by Public Law 92-151. Duties can be levied only on such imports from nations with nonnormal trade relations. However, all countries that supplied commercial quantities of bauxite or alumina to the United States during the first 8 months of 2006 had normal-trade-relations status.

Depletion Allowance: 22% (Domestic), 14% (Foreign).
Government Stockpile:
Stockpile Status—9-30-067
Uncommitted Committed Authorized Disposal plan Disposals
Material inventory for disposal FY 2006 FY 2006
Bauxite, metal grade:
Jamaica-type — 4,040 — 2,030 —
Suriname-type — — — 406 —
Bauxite, refractorygrade
— — — 68 —
Prepared by Patricia A. Plunkert [(703) 648-4979, [email protected], fax: (703) 648-7757]
29
BAUXITE AND ALUMINA

Events, Trends, and Issues: Increased supply caused spot prices for metallurgical-grade alumina, as published by Metal Bulletin, to decrease dramatically by the end of the third quarter. The published price range began the year at $580 to $590 per ton of alumina. By the end of April, the price range had peaked at $620 to $635 per ton.

The price range then began a dramatic downward slide that lasted through mid-October to a range of $240 to $290 per ton.

World production of bauxite and alumina increased compared with that of 2005. Based on production data from the International Aluminium Institute, world alumina production during the first 2 quarters of 2006 increased 9% compared with that for the same period in 2005.
World Bauxite Mine Production, Reserves, and Reserve Base:

Mine production Reserves8 Reserve base
2005 2006e
United States NA NA 20,000 40,000
Australia 60,000 61,400 5,800,000 7,900,000
Brazil 19,800 21,000 1,900,000 2,500,000
China 18,000 20,000 700,000 2,300,000
Greece 2,450 2,000 600,000 650,000
Guinea 15,000 15,200 7,400,000 8,600,000
Guyana 1,500 1,500 700,000 900,000
India 12,000 13,000 770,000 1,400,000
Jamaica 14,100 14,900 2,000,000 2,500,000
Kazakhstan 4,800 4,900 350,000 360,000
Russia 6,400 7,200 200,000 250,000
Suriname 4,580 4,800 580,000 600,000
Venezuela 5,900 6,000 320,000 350,000
Other countries 4,620 4,820 3,400,000 4,000,000
World total (rounded) 169,000 177,000 25,000,000 32,000,000

World Resources: Bauxite resources are estimated to be 55 to 75 billion tons, located in South America (33%),

Africa (27%), Asia (17%), Oceania (13%), and elsewhere (10%). Domestic resources of bauxite are inadequate to meet long-term U.S. demand, but the United States and most other major aluminum-producing countries have essentially inexhaustible subeconomic resources of aluminum in materials other than bauxite.

Substitutes: Bauxite is the only raw material used in the production of alumina on a commercial scale in the United States.

However, the vast U.S. resources of clay are technically feasible sources of alumina. Other domestic raw materials, such as anorthosite, alunite, coal wastes, and oil shales, offer additional potential alumina sources.

Although it would require new plants using new technology, alumina from these nonbauxitic materials could satisfy the demand for primary metal, refractories, aluminum chemicals, and abrasives. Synthetic mullite, produced from
kyanite and sillimanite, substitutes for bauxite-base refractories. Although more costly, silicon carbide and aluminazirconiasubstitute for bauxite-base abrasives.




	
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