SHANGHAI, Mar. 20 (SMM) – The Department of Land and Resources of Henan Province announced March 18 the discovery of 166.54 million mt of bauxite under west Caoyao mine of Mianchi County, Sanmenxi City as of late February, 2013, its biggest discovery in its exploration history.
The Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) announced in 2011 that China’s bauxite base reserves were approximately 1.05 billion mt. Bauxite reserves in Henan accounted for 16% of China’s total reserves, down 9 percentage points from 2010. This is mainly because there are many alumina producers in the province, resulting in large consumption f bauxite.
SMM data indicate that Henan’s alumina capacity hit 11.7 million mt/yr in 2012, accounting for 22% of China’s total capacity. If 2 mt of bauxite is needed to produce 1 mt of alumina, bauxite consumption by alumina producers alone in Henan would be 23.4 million mt. The bauxite reserve in Henan announced by the MLR in 2011 can only supply the province’s alumina smelters for seven years, excluding bauxite consumption by numerous local refractory material plants and aluminum hydroxide producers.
Henan’s discovery of bauxite under coal mine will provide sufficient raw materials for local alumina producers. On the other hand, more capital and higher technology will be required to exploit such bauxite, which may push up costs for alumina producers.