In 1952, the first aluminum was cast at Rockdale Operations. This 35,000-acre site is home to lignite mining, power generation and aluminum smelting operations, ultimately producing the raw aluminum necessary for the manufacture of aluminum consumer and industrial products. At full capacity, the smelting plant, the largest in the United States, can produce two million pounds of aluminum per day.
Rockdale Operations manufactures 40,000-pound sheet ingot used by fabricating plants in forming plate, sheet and foil, and 1,500-pound primary ingots or "pig", which are sold for remelting. Aluminum powder, produced at Rockdale, is used in a variety of chemical and commercial applications including cosmetics, paint and as a component in solid rocket propellants for NASA. Rockdale Operation is the sole supplier of aluminum powder to the NASA Space Shuttle program.