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Global bauxite distribution and top 10 bauxite mines

1. Types of bauxite

Aluminum is the most abundant metal element in the earth's crust, ranking third only to oxygen and silicon. Bauxite is opaque and brittle. Extremely difficult to melt. Insoluble matter is water, which can be dissolved in sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide solution. It is mainly used in national defense, military industry, communication, instrument aviation, automobile, electrical appliance, chemical industry, daily necessities, etc. Bauxite deposits can be divided into Lateritic Type and sedimentary type.


The ore of lateritic bauxite deposit is mainly gibbsite or mixed gibbsite and boehmite. It is characterized by medium aluminum, low silicon, high aluminum silicon ratio and high iron. It is a high-quality aluminum industrial raw material, easy to mine and soluble. The reserves of this type of deposit account for about 88% of the total global aluminum reserves. It is the main bauxite deposit in the world. It is mainly distributed in the tropical and subtropical areas between the north and South latitudes of 30 °. It is generally visible in the coastal plains, medium and low Highlands, platforms and islands on the continental margin.


The reserves of sedimentary bauxite deposits account for about 11% of the total reserves of global aluminum deposits. This kind of bauxite deposit presents diverse ore types due to different ore control times and regions. For example, China's Karst bauxite deposit is mainly diaspore type, and the ore is characterized by high aluminum, high silicon, low aluminum silicon ratio and low iron. The karst bauxite deposits in the Mediterranean and Caribbean have both diaspore, gibbsite and various mixed ores. The global sedimentary bauxite deposits are mainly distributed in the temperate zone near 30 ° - 60 ° n.


2. Global bauxite distribution

Global bauxite metallogenic belts are mainly distributed in Africa, Oceania, South America and Southeast Asia. In terms of country distribution, bauxite is mainly distributed in Guinea, Australia, Brazil, Jamaica, Vietnam and Indonesia, including Guinea (reserves of 7.4 billion tons), Australia (reserves of 6.2 billion tons), Brazil (reserves of 2.6 billion tons) and Jamaica (reserves of 2 billion tons).

bauxite mineral

2.1 Guinea

Guinea borders the Atlantic Ocean in the West and is located in western Africa, with a land area of 245900 square kilometers. With superior geographical location, Guinea is the main transportation hub in West Africa and the center of the west coast of Africa. It is also the main sea outlet of landlocked countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso. From the perspective of geological structure, Guinea is located in the West African craton, with complex and diverse metallogenic environment.


The complex tectonic movement has brought rich mineral resources. The enrichment of its main primary minerals is mainly concentrated in the Cenozoic evolution of the craton and its upper overburden. Due to alteration and mechanical sedimentation, a large-scale metal sedimentary deposit has been formed. Guinea has a low degree of mineral exploration. At present, the main dominant minerals are bauxite, iron ore, gold mine and diamond mine.


In addition, the exploration of uranium, copper, nickel, zinc, graphite and other minerals has also been fruitful. Guinea's bauxite reserves reached 7.4 billion tons, accounting for 26.4% of the world's total reserves, ranking first in the world. Guinea's bauxite, known as the "bauxite kingdom", is widely distributed, and there are almost mineral occurrences in the whole country, especially in the lower Guinea natural area, which is considered to be the best bauxite mining area in Guinea.


The minerals are mainly distributed in Fria, Kindia and Boke. Bauxites in the central Guinea natural area are mainly distributed in labe, gaoual and tougue areas, of which the bauxite reserves in labe area are about 460 million tons, with the content of alumina reaching 46.7% and silica 1.88%; Bauxite reserves in gaovar area are about 460 million tons, with alumina content of 48.7% and silica content of 2.1%; There are also nearly 2 billion tons of bauxite in tugai and dabola region of upper Guinea, with alumina content of 44.1% and silica content of 2.6%.


2.2 Australia

Australia is rich in bauxite reserves, high-grade products, shallow burial and easy to mine. It is one of the most important bauxite suppliers in the world. Bauxite resources in Australia are mainly concentrated in three areas: the Gulf of Carpentaria, WEPA and Goff in northern Queensland; Darling mountains south of Perth, Western Australia; Mitchell heights and Cape Bougainville in northern Western Australia.


Weipa bauxite mine in Queensland is a world-class mining area. Darling range area is one of the main producing areas of bauxite in Australia. Darling range is located in ilgang craton, Western Australia. Bauxite in this area is mainly laterite type. Bauxite is characterized by low grade and high content of iron and silicon, but low content of soluble silicon harmful to bauxite smelting and great resource potential.

distribution map of bauxite in Australia

Bauxite minerals are in laterite layer, and the thickness is controlled by later denudation. The laterite section is divided into overburden, hard shell, clastic layer and bottom clay layer from top to bottom. The overburden is dominated by gravel. The economically significant bauxite is mainly concentrated in the clastic layer and hard shell, and the bottom clay layer prevents the bauxite from moving downward.


The ore minerals in bauxite are mainly gibbsite and a small amount of boehmite, which are mainly formed by weathering and leaching of feldspar in granite or basic rock (such as diabase and greenstone). According to the types of bedrock, bauxite in darling range area can be divided into granite bauxite and mafic bauxite, represented by jarrahdale bauxite deposit and mount Saddleback bauxite deposit respectively.


2.3 Vietnam

Vietnam is located in the east of Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is very rich in bauxite resources. According to Vietnam's official data, Vietnam's total bauxite resources are about 8 billion tons, occupying an important position in the world.


The deposit types mainly include Lateritic Type and sedimentary type. Laterite bauxite grade 36-39% (Al2O3 content); The grade of sedimentary bauxite is 39-65% (Al2O3 content). Vietnam is rich in bauxite resources, which are mainly distributed in the four provinces of dak LAK, dak Nong, Kon tum and Lam Dong in the south central part, and some in the north.


2.6 Indonesia

With a production capacity of 30 million tons, Indonesia is the fourth largest bauxite producer in the world, and its bauxite resources are estimated to be 1 billion tons. Bauxite resources in Indonesia are mainly distributed in Bangka island and beridong Island, West Kalimantan province and Riau province. At present, the mining of bauxite is mainly carried out by the Indonesian state-owned mining company, and the mining sites are mainly in Bintan Island, Riau province and West Kalimantan province.


The main mines in Indonesia are: kendawangan, Tanglang and East kotawalinin. Kendawangan mine is located in Sulawesi island in eastern Indonesia, with an annual capacity of 14 million tons. The annual production capacity of Tanglang coal mine is 12 million tons, and the annual production capacity of East kotawalinin is 8 million tons.


2.5 India

India is the largest country in the South Asian subcontinent. It is the fifth largest owner of bauxite resources in the world. The reserves of bauxite resources are about 3.89 billion tons. It is not only rich in resources but also of high quality. Its bauxite belongs to weathering residual type and is widely distributed. It is mainly concentrated in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh on the east coast, with a total area of 25000 square kilometers, accounting for more than 60% of the proven reserves of bauxite in India. It is mainly trihydrate bauxite, with a bauxite grade of 45-55% (Al2O3 content).

distribution map of bauxite in India

2.6 Brazil

Brazil is rich in bauxite resources, with reserves of 2.6 million × 109t, mainly distributed in Amazon and Pala states where the Amazon River Basin is located and Minas Gerais state in the southeast. Pala state is the main state, and more than 90% of Brazil's bauxite resources are distributed in Pala state.


Trombetas super large bauxite ore field and paragominas super large bauxite deposit are distributed in the Amazon basin, and kiaminkina, sherau, novalima, awulau polet, Maliana and aleglia bauxite deposits are distributed in Minas Gerais state. The genetic type of bauxite in Brazil is mainly laterite type. Brazil has 25 bauxite mines, 9 of which are large-scale. Brazil's Lando bauxite mine is the largest bauxite mine in South America, with reserves of 9.8% × 108t.


2.7 Jamaica

The largest mine in Jamaica is Discovery Bay, also known as Saint Anne bauxite, with an annual production capacity of 4.5 million tons. The mine is owned and operated by Noranda Jamaica bauxite partnership. Following Discovery Bay is Oliphant mountain mine, which is operated by jamalco with an annual output of 3.7 million tons. Jamalco is a joint venture between the Jamaican government and Alcoa.


2.8 Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's alumina industry is controlled by kmrc and the Kazakh government. Kazakhstan Aluminum Corporation controls Red October and torgai bauxite mines in konstanai area. Lisakovsk is the largest mine with an annual production capacity of 3.3 million tons. Followed by Turgay and Arkalyk mines.


2.9 Suriname

Suriname's main revenue comes from bauxite, accounting for more than 15% of GDP and 70% of export revenue. In 2012, Suriname's output was 2.9 million tons, accounting for about 1% of the global output. In 2014, Suriname produced 32.7 billion tons. The largest mine is the coermotibo mine, with an annual production capacity of 2.6 million tons. The second is kaimangrasie, with an annual production capacity of 1.4 million tons. The main mining company in Suriname is Suriname aluminum.


3. Top 10 bauxite mines in the world

Bauxite is the main raw material for the production of brown fused alumina and white fused alumina, which is usually distributed in tropical areas. Bauxite exists in thin layers, usually 2-5M near the surface. According to the data displayed in the mine and project database of the consulting company GlobalData, the following are the top ten bauxite production mines in 2020:


3.1 Rio Tinto Weipa bauxite

Weipa bauxite mine, located in Queensland, Australia, is an open-pit mine owned by global mining giant Rio Tinto. It is reported that the mine produced about 35.09million tons of bauxite in 2020, and its service life will be up to 2058.


3.2 Alcoa Huntly bauxite

Huntly bauxite is located near dwellingup, Western Australia and is owned by Alcoa. The mine is the largest bauxite in the world, and the bauxite output in 2020 is about 25.133 million tons. The mine will operate until 2044.


3.3 Boddington bauxite mine of south32 company

Boddington bauxite mine in Western Australia is an open-pit mine operated by south32 alumina company. The bauxite output of the mine in 2020 is about 18.325 million tons, and the mine will stop operation in 2034.


3.4 Sangaredi bauxite mine, Guinea

Guinea sangaredi bauxite mine was established in October 1963. It is the largest bauxite production company in Guinea and one of the largest bauxite production companies in the world. The Guinean government owns 49% of the mine and Halco mining owns 51% of the mine. The mine will produce 16.506 million tons of bauxite in 2020, and its service life is expected to be 2038.

bauxite mining

3.5 Rio Tinto gove bauxite

Gove bauxite, located in Australia's East Arnhem region, has been produced since 1971 and is owned by global mining giant Rio Tinto. The mine produced about 12.299 million tons of bauxite in 2020, and it is envisaged to operate until 2030.


3.6 North Rio mining company MRN bauxite

MRN bauxite is the largest bauxite producer and exporter in Brazil. It is an open-pit mine in Pala, Brazil. It is estimated that the bauxite mineral volume of the mine in 2020 will be 11.629 million tons, which will be functionalized before 2026, and the bauxite produced will be exported to three continents.


3.7 Alcoa Australia Willowdale bauxite

Willowdale bauxite mine is located in the darling mountains near Waruna, Western Australia and is owned by Alcoa Australia Limited. The mine started mining in 1984 and produces about 10 million tons of bauxite every year. The mine will produce 9.667 million tons of bauxite in 2020, and its service life is expected to be 2044.


3.8 UAE Global Aluminum Corporation GAC bauxite

Guinea alumina company is the bauxite mining subsidiary of UAE global aluminum company, which is the largest high-quality aluminum producer in the world. GAC bauxite mine is an open pit mine located in Bock, Republic of Guinea. It is estimated that the bauxite mineral volume of the mine in 2020 will be 8.4 million tons, and the service life will be up to 2039.


3.9 Chinalco boffa bauxite

Boffa bauxite, an open-pit mine in Guinea, is mainly owned by Chinalco and located in bock area. It produced about 8.062 million tons of bauxite in 2020. It is reported that the first batch of bauxite from boffa arrived in China in February 2020.


3.10 Hydro Paragominas Mine

Paragominas bauxite mine is located in Pala state in northern Brazil and owned by hydro. It is one of the largest bauxite reserves in Brazil and one of the largest bauxite reserves in South America. The estimated reserves are 1 billion tons. The mine produced about 6.998 million tons of bauxite in 2020 and is expected to operate until 2041.


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