Map of Aluminum Deposits Worldwide
This map depicts World Aluminum Deposits in gray. For more detail, hover over the map. To take a closer look, zoom in. For more information, scroll down.
|Aluminum (AL)||Aluminum and other metals AU (gold), CU (copper), PB (lead), ZN (zinc)|
Aluminum is a silvery-white metal with the symbol Al. It is the 13th element in the periodic table with an atomic weight of 27. Its name is derived from the Latin "alumen" which means bitter salt.
Aluminum is the most abundant metal on Earth's crust. Nevertheless, it is commonly found in nature with other elements because it is highly reactive.
It is believed aluminum was used in China in the 3rd century. But it was not until 1827 when German chemist Friedrich Wohler extracted pure aluminum.
Aluminum Properties and Uses
Aluminum has a wide range of uses. This is because it has low density, is non-toxic, and has a high thermal conductivity. It has little corrosion and is easy to cast and shape.
Aluminum is non-sparking and non-magnetic. It is the sixth most ductile metal and the second most malleable.
Aluminum is commonly used as an alloy because it is not very strong.
Aluminum is used in cans, foils, kitchen utensils, window frames, and beer kegs.
Even though it is a common metal, it is considered a critical commodity because of its usefulness and irreplaceability.
Aluminum's primary source is the sedimentary rock bauxite. Bauxite is composed of aluminum hydroxide minerals such as gibbsite Al(OH)3, diapore AlO(OH), and boehmite AlO(OH).
Bauxite is also the primary source of gallium.
Bauxite forms from the weathering of igneous and metamorphic rocks rich in feldspar. Source: Virginia Energy.
There have been two proposed bauxite classifications depending on their origin and source.
- Carbonate bauxites are predominately from Europe, Guyana, and Jamaica.
- Lateritic bauxites are mainly silicate and are more common in the tropics.
Bauxite deposits contain a range of impurities, from organic material to trace elements such as Ga, Zn, Pb, P, and Be.
Aluminum Production and Reserves
The top producers of bauxite worldwide are:
- Australia: 105 million metric tonnes.
- China: 68 million metric tonnes.
- Guinea: 64 million metric tonnes.
- Brazil: 30 million metric tonnes.
- India: 26 million metric tonnes.
These numbers are from 2019. Source: NSE Energy.
There are small amounts of bauxite in the U.S.A., but very little is mined. It is found in Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia. Aluminium Asoc.
Bauxite is usually found near the surface, and it can be stripped economically.
There is a curious fact about bauxite. Bulk bauxite may liquefy if excessively moist. This fact is of significant importance when bauxite is shipped.
It is believed liquefaction occurred to the M.S. Bulk Jupiter in 2015 and sank the ship. Source: Safety 4 Seas.
To prevent liquefaction of bauxite, shipments need to be assessed before navigating.
Bauxite is refined through the Bayer chemical process into alumina. Alumina is then refined into pure aluminum metal through the Hall-Heroult electrolytic process.
World's Largest Bauxite Mines
Wipa Mine is a surface mine situated in Queensland, Australia. The mine produced about 34 million tonnes in 2021.
The mine has processing facilities, ship loaders, a wharf, 2 ports, power stations, a rail network, and ferry terminals.
The mine is owned by Rio Tinto.
This surface mine also produces an estimated 25.4 million tonnes of bauxite.
Sangaredi is a surface Mine in Boke, in the Republic of Guinea. This mine is owned by the government of Guinea. It produced approximately 15.8 million tonnes of bauxite in 2021.
Also in Boke is the GAC Mine. This mine is the sixth largest in the world and has an output of 11.7 million tonnes of bauxite.
Boddington Bauxite Mine
This mine is also located in Western Australia. It produced an estimated 13.5 million tonnes in 2021.
This mine is located in Northern Territory, Australia. It produced over 11 million tonnes of bauxite in 2021. Source: Mining Tech.
Resources for World Aluminum Deposits Map
The shapefiles with aluminum deposits are from U.S. Geological Survey mineral databases; MRDS and MAS/MILS Data Series 52 By: E.J. McFaul, G.T. Mason, W.B. Ferguson, and B. R. Lipin. It can be downloaded from MRDATA.
The Shapefiles with countries were downloaded from Natural Earth.
This map will be updated with new data! To receive updates on this and more nature maps, join my email list!!!!!!!