Australia produced 53.0 Mt bauxite and 16.5 Mt of alumina and 1.9 Mt of aluminium in 2003. This represented 40% of the western world’s production output. Australia has emerged also the world’s major alumina producer. In 2003 it accounted for 36% of Western output of 46.3Mt. The most significant deposits of bauxite in Australia are located at Weipa in northern Queensland, at Gove on the Gove Peninsula in Northern Territory, and in the Darling Range and Mitchell Plateau areas of Western Australia. Deposits at Mitchell Plateau and Cape Bougainville in the north of Western Australia are uneconomic to develop but are important as future resources. All of Australia’s bauxite deposits are hosted by aluminium rich laterites, with Gibbsite being the main ore bearing aluminium mineral. The australian aluminium and bauxite industry consists of five bauxite mines, six alumina refineries, six primary aluminum smelters, twelve extusion mills and four rolled product mills.

The four main producers in Australia are:

Alcoa World Alumina & Chemicals (AWAC) operates the Huntley mine, one of the largest in the world. AWAC is owned by Alcoa Inc. 60% and WMC 40% and operates as Alcoa of Australia. Huntley is situated in Western Australia 80km south of Perth. Has indicated reserves of 700 Mt. The mine has a capacity to produce 18Mt per year. Alcoa also operates the Willowdale Mine situated 130km south of Perth in Western Australia. In 2003, the refineries produced approximately 7.9 Mt of alumina and the smelters a record 545,000 t of aluminium.

Worsley – The Worsley smelting and refining complex sources ore from the nearby Mount Saddleback mine south of Perth with estimated reserves of 400 Mt. Worsley is owned by Billiton 86% and Japanese Kobe 10%

In 2000 Alcan acquired the remaining 70% of the Gove bauxite deposit and refinery situated in northern Territories. Additional ore is being sourced from the nearby Rocky Bay deposit, which will extend the life of mine to 2030. In late 2003, Alcan Gove Pty Ltd completed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its proposed A$1.5 billion expansion of the Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory. The expansion would increase alumina production capacity from 2 Mt/y to around 3.5 Mt/y and convert all of Alcan Gove’s bauxite output into alumina.

In 2003 expansion of the Weipa bauxite mine in Queensland commenced, with intentions to increase production capacity to 16.5 Mt/y, mostly to supply the new Comalco alumina refinery. Construction of the US$750 million facility at Gladstone, Qld, is on schedule and initial shipments from the 1.4 Mt/y plant are expected in 2005. In June 2003, Norsk Hydro signed a longterm supply agreement with Comalco to buy 500,000 t/y of alumina for more than 20 years to feed its aluminium smelters in Australia and elsewhere.

Organisations (6)

Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals, Aldoga Aluminium Smelter Pty Ltd, Alumina ltd, Comalco Ltd, Queensland Alumina Limited, WMC Resources Ltd

Facilities (254)

Abednego Nickel Mine, Agnew, Allstate, Anomaly A, Ardlethan, Argyle, Avebury, Babel, Bald Hill, Balla Balla, Bayswater Colliery, Beaconsfield, Beautiful Sunday, Beenup, Bengalla, Betheno, Beverley, Big Bell, Big Four, Black Range

Participating Organisations

BHP Billiton Limited

BHP Billiton has a 86% interest in the Worlsey Alumina refinery as well as the Worsley mine situated near Boddington in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto Plc

Through subsidiary Comalco, Rio Tinto has a 67% interest in the Weipa bauxite mine in northen Queensland. Comalco also has interests in the Boyne Island aluminium smlter and the Gladstone refinery, both in Queensland.

Rio Tinto Plc

Lianyungang Inpu Quartz Factory is one of the leading manufacturers in China of clear quartz tube . With volume production capability, advanced testing equipment, and, R&D; ability, the company exports large quantities.

WMC Resources Ltd

WMC owns 40 % Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC), the world’s largest alumina producer. AWAC has international interests in bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and alumina chemicals production.

Shaun Bakamoso

Greetings. I'm Shaun Bakamoso, and I'm thrilled to be your guide through the dynamic world of business news in South Africa here at mbendi.co.za. With a passion for staying informed and a keen interest in the ever-evolving landscape of business, I've dedicated myself to providing you with timely, insightful, and comprehensive coverage of the latest developments impacting the South African economy. bakamoso@gmail.com / Instagram