A message from Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Kevin Anton What is bauxite residue? Our high standards Creating a sustainable future using bauxite residue

  

Alcoa’s High Standards 

 

Alcoa maintains local, regional and federal standards at our refineries, and all are monitored carefully to ensure that the integrity of the facilities is maintained and kept in compliance with regulations.  Beyond that, Alcoa has a globally mandated policy involving the construction, management and maintenance of residue facilities.
 
In fact, as part of Alcoa’s ongoing planning and management processes, we conducted a review of our facilities this past summer.  Additionally, we have an annual geo-technical inspection of our storage areas by an independent third party professional to ensure the operation is being maintained and operated to high standards. This is in addition to operating within local, regional and federal standards. 
 
We are confident in the safety of our facilities. When incidents occur, we also take steps to provide assistance and expertise in addressing needed services.  
 
Are our storage techniques similar to the one in Hungary?
We use a variety of technologies, but management of our residue facilities is primarily based in the so called ‘dry stacking’ or “sloped deposition” technologies.   In this process, the high density residue is deposited in such a way that a slope is formed, allowing the water to run off and the residue to dry and consolidate, minimizing the water content in the disposal area. In addition, the draining water is pumped back to the plant. This allows for the dry consolidation of the red mud, generating a solid compound without ability to flow as witnessed in the MAL Zrt situation in Hungary.  Whenever we store large volumes of material – whether they are wet or dry – we do so in properly engineered and maintained containment areas.  All of our residue facilities must adhere to our globally mandated policy involving the construction, management and maintenance of residue facilities, no matter what technology they may utilize. 
 
Do you perform controls on the stability of the residue disposal area?
As part of Alcoa’s ongoing planning and management processes, we conducted a review of our facilities this past summer.  Additionally, we have an annual geo-technical inspection of our storage areas by an independent third party professional to ensure the operation is being maintained and operated to high standards.   This is in addition to operating within local, regional and federal standards. 

  


Stable deposit of dried bauxite residue.

 


Dry stacking enhanced by ploughing.

 


Rehabilitation of residue deposit at Sao Luis (Brazil) – has been re-vegetated to  demonstrate self sustaining, low maintenance native vegetation.

 


Bricks produced from 50% Red Mud and 30% Rice Hush Ash (RHA).