What is Bauxite?

Bauxite is an earthy, granular rock from which most of the aluminum is extracted which in turn is smelted to form aluminium metal. Bauxite is formed by prolonged weathering and leaching of rocks containing aluminum silicates. It is a mixture of the following minerals:

  • Diaspore
  • Gibbsite
  • Boehmite
  • Iron

Bauxite is actually not a mineral, but rather a group of aluminum oxides. The term “Bauxite” typically describes the mixture of the minerals which form a mass of the individually classified minerals, as listed above.

Bauxite rocks are typically classified according to their intended commercial application: metallurgical, abrasive, cement, chemical, and refractory.

Bauxite Deposits in Africa and Internationally

The main source of Bauxite currently comes from Australia, then China, Brazil, Guinea, and India.

Other countries where Bauxite is found are:

  • Sierra Leone
  • Guinea
  • France
  • Slovenia
  • Nassau
  • Ireland
  • Certain states in the US
Interesting Bauxite Fact:
  • It is named after the French village of Les Baux, where it was first recognized as an aluminum ore.
  • It does not make aesthetic or interesting specimens as far as collectors are concerned, but it holds importance as being the primary ore of the metal aluminum.
Jobs in Bauxite

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