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Last updated: July 11, 2019

What Does Bauxite Mean?

Bauxite is a brown (clay colored), naturally occurring tropical ore used to produce aluminum. It is a residual rock formed under years of chemical weathering.

Bauxite is categorized on the basis of its intended application, for example:

  • Manufacturing cement and refractory materials
  • Metallurgy and the chemical industry
  • Abrasives and flux agent manufacturing

There are various ways to obtain aluminum, but bauxite ore is commonly used due to the richness of the ore's hydrated alumina components.


Corrosionpedia Explains Bauxite

Bauxite is a weathered rock whose main constituents are aluminum hydroxide minerals. It also contains relatively small amounts of iron oxides, silica, alumina silicate clay and titanium oxide. Forms of bauxite include gibbsite and diasporeböhmite, which act as the raw material to produce aluminum. Bayer and Hall processes are used to manufacture aluminum.

It is found as a thin layer in the topsoil approximately 5 meters (16.4 feet) from the surface along the equatorial belt. It is thought to have formed by the weathering of rocks over a period of time and the transportation of clay deposits to the tropical or sub-tropical regions. Strip mining is an economical way to obtain the ore.


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