|Henan announces discovery of 167 million tonnes bauxite reserve
SMM reported that the Department of Land and Resources of Henan Province announced March 18 the discovery of 166.54 million tonnes of bauxite in west Caoyao of Mianchi County, Sanmenxi City as of late February, 2013 its biggest discovery in its exploration history.
The Ministry of Land and Resources announced in 2011 that China's bauxite base reserves were approximately 1.05 billion tonnes. Bauxite reserves in Henan accounted for 16% of China's total reserves, down 9 percentage points from 2010. This is mainly because there are many alumina producers in the province, resulting in large consumption f bauxite.
SMM data indicate that Henan's alumina capacity hit 11.7 million tonnes per year in 2012 accounting for 22% of China's total capacity. If 2 million tonnes of bauxite is needed to produce 1 million tonnes of alumina, bauxite consumption by alumina producers alone in Henan would be 23.4 million tonnes.
The bauxite reserve in Henan announced by the MLR in 2011 can only supply the province's alumina smelters for seven years, excluding bauxite consumption by numerous local refractory material plants and aluminum hydroxide producers.
Henan's discovery of bauxite in the earth's deeper layers will provide sufficient raw materials for local alumina producers. On the other hand, more capital and higher technology will be required to exploit such bauxite, which may push up costs for alumina producers.