Price: Contact us
Bauxite is a mineral with a dull, earthy luster which is usually white or gray, though sometimes can be found stained by yellow, orange, red, pink, or brown by iron or included iron minerals. It has no cleavage, a low specific gravity, and the Mohs Hardness Scale score is between 1 and 3. Its streak is usually white, but its iron stain can discolor. It has a variable chemical composition but is always rich in aluminum oxides and hydroxides. These are most of the identifying properties for bauxite and are useful for identifying the mineral; however, bauxite is most often processed into another material with properties much different than bauxite.
Interesting Bauxite Facts:
Bauxite is the principal ore of aluminum and crushing it is the first step in producing aluminum, and then purifying it using the Bayer Process.
Bauxite is washed in a hot solution of sodium hydroxide using the Bayer Process, which filters the aluminum from the bauxite.
Aluminum is usually produced where electricity costs are very low.
Bauxite is used as an abrasive. Sintered bauxite is often used as a sand-blasting abrasive produced by crushing bauxite to a powder, and then fusing it using a very high temperature into spherical beads.
The bauxite spherical beads are very hard and durable. They are sorted by size for use in sandblasting equipment and other sandblasting applications. Their spherical shape reduces wear on the delivery equipment.
Sintered bauxite can also be used as an oil field proppant, which ultimately allow for the flow of oil or natural gas out of rocks and into a well. A process known as hydraulic fracturing.
Bauxite resources are adequate throughout the world at current rates, but other materials could be used instead of bauxite include clay minerals, alunite, anorthosite, power plant ash, and oil shale, but at an increased cost.
Silicon carbide could also be used in place of the abrasives made from bauxite, and synthetic mullite may be used in place of bauxite-based refractories.
Small amounts of bauxite can be found in Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia. Overall, though, there is very little mining of the mineral in the U.S., with 99% of it being imported from other countries.
Around the world, Australia, China, Brazil, India, Guinea, Jamaica, Russia, Kazakhstan, Suriname, and Greece are the top ten leading bauxite producing countries.
The top producers of bauxite have enough reserves for many years of continued production, with some having reserves lasting 100 years.
What is Bauxite?
Bauxite is primarily a metallic mineral though it is also used as an industrial mineral. It is the only ore used for large scale aluminium production. Although aluminium is the most abundant metallic element in the earth’s crust constituting about 8%, it usually occurs in clays, soil and rocks that cannot be utilized for its extraction.