Mined bauxite ore is refined into alumina through what is known as the Bayer process.
The Bayer process, discovered in 1887, extracts alumina from bauxite through crushing, dissolving it in caustic soda, filtration and an electrolytic process. A white powder, similar to table salt, called alumina is produced and can then be smelted into aluminium metal to be used in things like vehicles, packaging, consumer products and powering the world.
Alumina is the key raw material used to produce primary aluminium. Approximately 60 per cent of the production from our Worsley Alumina operation is shipped to our aluminium smelters in South Africa and Mozambique, with the remainder going into the seaborne market.
We mine and refine bauxite into alumina at our Worsely Alumina and Brazil Alumina operations. Worsley Alumina is one of the world’s largest alumina refineries.We smelt alumina into aluminium at our Mozal Aluminium, Hillside Aluminium and Brazil Aluminium operations. Hillside Aluminium is the largest aluminium smelter in the southern hemisphere.