Bauxite mining in Suriname

Aluminum is one of the most plentiful metals in the earth's crust.
It is naturally found in the form of bauxite, an ore containing aluminum oxide, or alumina. We surface mine bauxite from reserves in Australia, Brazil, Suriname, Jamaica and other parts of the world, processing most of it into alumina. In 2003, Alcoa consumed 30.8 million metric tons (mt) of bauxite from its own reserves, 6.9 million mt from related third parties and 1.9 million mt from unrelated third parties.
Surface mining bauxite
Bauxite mining involves removing topsoil and overburden, storing it for later rehabilitation, extracting the ore below, and finally restoring the land to its former state. In some mines this process involves drilling and blasting of bauxite caprock so that it can be extracted along with the softer bauxite below. Where blasting would be unacceptable, heavy equipment is used to remove the rock. Once the ore has been broken, it is loaded onto haul trucks by excavators or front-end loaders and transported to primary crushers at the mines in preparation for refining into alumina.
Restoring the land
Alcoa considers mineral extraction to be only temporary use of the land. Areas used for mining must be restored to a land use that is socially and ecologically sustainable. Future users of the land have the right to expect the same ground to provide as many options as possible for satisfying their own needs.
At Alcoa, when we speak of rehabilitation, we mean that the disturbed site will be returned to a form and productivity that conforms to a pre-determined land use plan. Rehabilitation implies that the site is returned to a stable condition that will not deteriorate substantially but will be consistent with the aesthetic, environmental, economic, and social values of the surrounding.

Mining in Australia

Read more about how bauxite is mined at Alcoa's operations in Australia.

Restoring the land

Read more about how we return mined land worldwide to a sustainable and productive state.