Operations
 
Aluminium does not occur naturally in its metal form and is produced during the smelting process from a white powder called Alumina.  Approximately two tonnes of alumina is needed to make one tonne of aluminium.
 
Alumina is the result of bauxite refining.  Alcoa mines bauxite, a sedimentary rock, in Western Australia and then refines it to produce alumina.  Alumina is made up of aluminium and oxygen and to produce aluminium metal, these two elements need to be separated through the smelting process. 
 
From the time alumina is unloaded at the Point Henry smelter, it can take 30 to 35 days until an aluminium ingot is produced (most of this time is for alumina inventory).  The ingots are then rolled into sheet for use in aluminium beverage cans, food cans and bottle screw caps or sold on to customers.
 
The aluminium production and rolling process involves many stages, and Alcoa needs the support of a workforce of nearly 900 people at its Point Henry site to see the process through.

Point Henry site

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View of the Point Henry site from Geelong's Eastern Beach