Uses of Bauxite


Uses of bauxite are described with proper applications in metallurgy industries. It was manufactured in the early decades of 19th century. This metal ore was named after a small town in the state of France. A chemist from the country, whose name was P. Berthier, first discovered this ore. Those are extracted from nature by using different methods and techniques.

Types of Bauxite

Two different classifications of bauxite are found to exist on the planet. The first type is known as the lateritic bauxites. On the other hand, the second type is known as karst bauxite. Each of these bauxites has different categories for specific purposes of usages. The lateritic bauxites are found in a specific profile of soil which is rich in laterite. The raw materials extracted from the source of bauxite mines are stacked with deposits of aluminosilicate. Hence, aluminium is extracted from bauxites using the process of hydration.

The second type of this element is known as karst bauxite, which lies on rocks in its carbonate form. The formation of this type of bauxite occurs on the karst soil which is rich in hematite. In this structure, karst bauxite has a heavy deposition of aluminium oxides. These types of bauxites have the same use to provide a certain amount of aluminium just like the lateritic bauxites.

Properties of Bauxite

The properties of bauxite are listed down under this section. These hold a large variation in their physical attributes. Thus, these are listed down under this section −

  • The colour of this bauxite ranges from reddish brown to white and grey at times.

  • The ore of bauxite is very soft in nature as the scale of Mohs ranges between the scales of 1 to 3.

  • The structure of all the bauxite ore is usually found in the pisolitic state.

  • These ores of bauxite also lack a low specific gravity as it becomes a variable between the scales of 2.0 to 2.5.

  • The aspects of lustre observed in the ores of bauxite are usually dull and have an earthy attribute.

  • The diaphaneity of bauxite ores is usually opaque.

  • There is no cleavage formed between the ores of bauxite.

These are some of the properties of bauxite found in its natural state when these are extracted from the mines.

Extraction of Bauxite

The process of extraction of bauxite ores is a very simple endeavour as it requires open-cast mining. In this process, the land where very large reserve of bauxite is believed to present is cleared off by plucking all the vegetation along with seeds collected. After mining, the soil layer can be retained and the vegetation as well as the seed can be placed inside the soil again for plantation of species one more time. The process of mining starts with the removal and storage of the topsoil to reach the deposit.

Figure 1: Percentage of worldwide bauxite deposits

There is a huge of rocks and soil known as overburden. This hard layer of rocks is drilled and broken into pieces, which is convenience to the transportation of these bauxite ores. These are transported to the refinery for the extraction of aluminium or for the purpose of washing any dirt from the ores.

Uses of Bauxite

  • In order to derive aluminium, the metallurgy industry uses bauxite ores.

  • The production of different parts of a car and utensils are made up using bauxites.

  • This type of ore is used in the production of abrasives and cement.

Figure 2: Uses of Bauxite

  • Bauxite gives aluminium is widely used in the production of tools found in every household.

  • The use of bauxite is very important in the electronic industry as aluminium is a major constituent in the production of antennas for radios.

  • Lateritic bauxites help in the construction of roads and components used for the purpose of building houses.

Facts about Bauxite

The facts about bauxite are as follows −

  • The places where the price of electricity is affordable to support the production of aluminium.

  • The form of sintered bauxite is found in the process of hydraulic fracturing.

  • The beads found in the shape of spheres are very hard and durable by nature.

  • The Bayer’s process is used to filter every ounce of aluminium s found inside the ore of bauxite.

  • Other bauxites are found on the planet works in the same manner. The only difference is that it should be obtained at a very high cost compared to bauxite ores.


The tutorial explains the process by which the reservoirs of bauxite are mined for the production of different items. The tutorial gives brief idea about the methods used to extract the ores of bauxite. There are some properties of the bauxite ore that helps to make different types of objects on the basis of these properties. The images are here to give a brief overview of the tutorial to all the learners.


Q1. Who is the person to find the metal ore of bauxite?

Ans. The person who was the first to find the metal ore of bauxite was P. Berthier. This man was a chemist from France who named the mineral ore bauxite.

Q2. What is used to preserve the mining reserve of bauxite?

Ans. The unique method commonly known as the Bayer’s Process is the best way to preserve bauxite. This is the method that is used to protect the large reserves of bauxite.

Q3. What is the impact on the environment due to mining bauxite ores?

Ans. There are severe impacts on the environment due to the mining of bauxite ores. Deforestation is the first problem as all kinds of mining demand cutting down trees. The next includes massive dust pollution and a vast landscape of wasteland that is unfit for vegetation and cultivation.

Updated on: 14-Apr-2023


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