Metal of the 21st century: Aluminium
Aluminum has a wide range of usage in different industries such as construction, automotive, packaging, defense, chemicals and transportation due to its lightness, strength, superior corrosion resistance, high degree of heat and electrical conductivity, easy forming, processing and heat treatment that other metals cannot provide. Due to these properties, aluminum is the second most produced metal after iron and steel.
It is also the most common element in nature after oxygen and silicon. Aluminum ores account for about 7.5% of the earth’s crust. However, aluminum is not found in metallic form in nature as gold and platinum. It is generally in oxide and silicate form. The raw material of aluminum metallurgy is oxide minerals. Bauxite and alumina represent the first two links in the value chain on the way to aluminum metal and ultimately to aluminum products. Bauxite is known as mineral but actually composed of minerals. Bauxite, the raw material of aluminum, is a rock formation. It was discovered in 1821 near the village of Les Baux in southern France, and was named after this village.
Bauxite deposits are generally 0-2 m close to the surface and open pit operations are performed in approximately 80% of world bauxite deposits. When we compare the countries in terms of bauxite reserves and aluminum producing criteria we find an interesting result. Most of the leading countries in aluminum production are in the last place in terms of bauxite reserves. Canada, for example -without bauxite reserves- ranks third in the world ranking, is producing primary aluminum in many countries, all based on imported ore.
As a result of the bauxite exploration works started by MTA in the 1940s, it is determined that the total of visible + probable + possible reserves of Turkey is 422 million tons and the operable reserve is 63 million tons. The largest bauxite reserve is located in Konya Seydişehir and Antalya Akseki.
Bauxite Madencilik A.Ş., which is a part of Seherli Group, is a mine owner in Muğla and creates added value for Turkey’s economy by exporting bauxite ore. As Panda Aluminium Co., we produce flat aluminum in our Ankara Kahramankazan plant and we export 80% of our production.