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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Kurtz, Horace F.
Bauxite and Alumina,   pp. 167-181 ff. PDF (1.6 MB)


Page 167

  167Bauxite and Alumina 
By Horace F. Kurtz' 
 World bauxite production rose 6% and reached a record high level of over
81 million long tons in 1977. Producers in Australia and Jamaica provided
most of the increase over the previous year. The production of alumma (alummum
oxide) the intermediate product between bauxite and aluminum metal, also
was a new record, totaling over 32 million short tons in 1977. The increases
in the output of bauxite and alumina largely reflected a continued growth
in world demand for primary aluminum, the principal end use of these commodities.
 In the United States, bauxite production increased slightly to nearly 2
million long tons. Alumina production rose about 4% to 
6.65 million short tons, while imports of 
alumina increased 14% to over 4 million tons. Imports provided about 88%
of the bauxite used by domestic alumina producers and 38% of the new supply
(production plus imports) of alumina. 
 Legislation and Government Programs.—.The Federal Preparedness
Agency,
General Services Administration (GSA), stockpile inventories at the end of
1977 included about 14.2 million long tons of metal-grade bauxite (excluding
excess that had been sold), 173,000 tons of calcined refractory-grade bauxite,
and no alumina. Stockpile goals at yearend were 0.5 million long tons of
metal-grade bauxite, 2.1 million tons of refractory-grade bauxite, and 11.5
million short tons of alumina. 
Table 1.—Salient bauxite statistics 
(Thousand long tons and thousand dollars) 
1973 
1974 
1975 
1976 
1977 
United States: 
Production, crude ore (dry equivalent)            
Value                                   
Exports(assbipped)                         
Importsforconsumption 1                    
Consumption(dryequivalent)                  
World:Production                            
1,879 
$26,635 
12 
13,403 
16,650 
69,244 
1,949 
$25,663 
16 
14,976 
16,904 
78,362 
1,772 
$25,083 
19 
11,529 
12,388 
r73,610 
1,958 
$26,645 
15 
12,548 
13,817 
r76,502 
1,981 
$28,018 
25 
12,784 
14,299 
81,102 
~Rev~ed. 
1Excludes calcined bauxite. Includes bauxite imported into the Virgin Islands.
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 Bauxite production in the United States increased 1% to 1.98 million long
tons (dry basis) in 1977. Output increased in all three producing States,
Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia. Arkansas again produced 85% of the total.
All of the bauxite was mined at open pit operations, as the only underground
mine active in recent years did not produce in 1977. 
 In Arkansas, bauxite was mined by Aluminum Co. of America (Alcoa), American
Cyanamid Co., and Reynolds Mining Corp. in Saline County, and by Reynolds
in Pulaski County. American Cyanamid calcined bauxite at its plant at Benton,
Ark., and Porocel Corp. (owned by Engelhard Minerals & Chemicals
Corp.)
produced activated bauxite at its Berger plant. 


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