There are currently five large bauxite mines in Australia providing feedstock for the six alumina refineries, which in turn supply alumina to the four Australian aluminium smelters and the export market. Australia is the world’s largest producer of bauxite. In 2020, Australian bauxite production was 102 million tonnes (Mt). 37 Mt of bauxite was exported, and the remainder converted to Australian alumina.
The major Australian bauxite mines are:
- Boddington (Western Australia) – South32
- Gove (Northern Territory) – Rio Tinto Aluminium
- Huntly (Western Australia) – Alcoa
- Willowdale (Western Australia) – Alcoa
- Weipa (Queensland) – Rio Tinto
Australian bauxite deposits have high grades and are shallow and relatively easy to mine. To learn more about the bauxite mining process go to our Bauxite Mining Chart. The quality of Australian bauxite means there are a number of small new mines either operating or in the exploration and approvals phase in Australia including:
In 2018, the Australian Aluminium Council, together with the International Aluminium Institute and the Brazilian Aluminium Association, co-authored the Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines, which aim to share the expertise learned from decades of sustainable mining practices in Australia with the global industry.
Click here for the latest publications from the International Aluminium Institute on best practice in the management of bauxite residue and reuse options.