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US Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2006(figures for 2005)
Uploaded on Wednesday 22 Feb 2012
Mining waste generated from aluminium production
Cécile Marin, Emmanuelle Bournay
The production of aluminium involves three main stages: mining bauxite ore, refining bauxite to alumina (Al2O3), and then smelting alumina to produce aluminium. Bauxite comes from open mines mainly located in tropical and subtropical regions. On average it takes 4 to 5 tonnes of bauxite to produce 2 tonnes of alumina, yielding 1 tonne of aluminium. The main solid by-product of the alumina extraction (Bayer process) is red mud and roughly 3 tonnes is left for every tonne of alumina.