ALUMINIUM INDUSTRY (EN: aluminium industry; DE: Aluminium-industrie; FR: industrie d'aluminium; ES: industria del aluminio; RU: алюминиевая промышленность) is the sub-branch of the non-ferrous metallurgy, which includes the enterprises for the extraction of the aluminium raw materials, and for the production of alumina (aluminium(III) oxide), metallic aluminium, crystalline silicon, fluoride salts, and other products (in total, more than 200 types of products). According to the scales of the production and consumption, aluminium holds the 1st place in the worldwide economy among the non-ferrous metals. There belong to the aluminium raw materials the bauxites, nepheline-apatite and alunite ores, nepheline concentrates. The high-quality quartzites are the raw material for the production of the crystalline silicon, the concentrates of the fluorspar (fluorite) are the raw material for the production of the fluoride salts.
|(Table 1) The extraction of the bauxites|
|Industrialized capitalistic countries||2416||5399||15025||34276||33675||32124|
The origination of the aluminium industry refers to 1886, when there has been invented independently by C.Hall in the USA and by P.Eru in France the method for the obtainment of aluminium by the electrolysis of alumina, which is dissolved within the melt of the fluoride salts. The large aluminium industry emerges from the end of the 19th to the start of the 20th centuries (there has been developed the hydrochemical method for the producing of alumina from the bauxites) in association with the usage of aluminium in the aircraft building, ship building, mechanical engineering, electrical technology, and other industries. Aluminium was produced in 1900 in 6 countries, before the 2nd World War of the 1939-45 in 16 countries, in 1980 in 41 countries, including in 6 countries, which are the CMEA members. The pre-revolutionary Russia had not its own aluminium industry. Its creation in the USSR is associated with the development of the energetic economy. The first large hydroelectrical power station on the Volkhov river has also become the energetic base for the first in the USSR Volkhov aluminium plant (1932), the Dnieper aluminium plant has been launched in 1933 on the basis of the Dnieper hydroelectrical power plant. There were used at these enterprises in the pre-war period the high-silicon Tikhvin bauxites, which have been discovered in 1916 by P.N.Timofeyev. The Boksitogorsk (Tikhvin) alumina plant has been commissioned in 1938, the Urals aluminium plant, where the raw material base of which have become the Severouralsk high-quality bauxites, which have been discovered in 1931 by N.A.Karzhavin, has been commissioned in 1939.
|The dynamics of the production and export of aluminium|
During the Great Patriotic War of the 1941-45, the aluminium industry has been relocated to the eastern part of the country. There have been commissioned in the Urals and Siberia new bauxite- extracting enterprises. In the post-war period, simultaneously with the restoration of the destroyed enterprises, there have unfolded themselves the works on the expansion of the working and construction of the new aluminium plants. As the result of the targeted searches, there have been uncovered large deposits of the bauxites, nepheline ores, and other raw materials, which are used in the aluminium industry. There sharply increased the technical level of the enterprises, have been developed and implemented new types of the powerful electrolyzers with roasted anodes, and also the new technological schemes for the comprehensive processing of the nepheline-apatite ores and nepheline concentrates into the alumina, soda products, cement, and other products. There has achieved the significant development the aluminium industry in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia.
The aluminium industry of the industrialized capitalistic and developing countries is characterized by the high degree of the monopolization and vertical integration. 81 companies (1982) are engaged in the production of aluminium. The leading position in the aluminium industry belongs to the 6 largest monopolies, which are essentially the transnational companies: "Alcan Aluminium", "Aluminium Co. Of America", "Reynolds Metals Co.", "Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp.", "Pechiney-Ugine-Kuhlman", "Swiss Aluminium"; they control 60% of the extraction of the bauxites, 65% of the production of alumina, and 55% of the production of aluminium. There essentially acts the implicit cartel, which members, namely, the aluminium monopolies, conduct the unified policy of the prices.
The rapid growth of the aluminium industry caused the increase of the extraction of the bauxites in the industrialized capitalistic and developing countries, from 6.9 million tonnes in 1950 to 73.1 million tonnes in 1981 (Table 1).
India and Indonesia are the producers of the bauxites in the Asian developing countries. The share of the industrialized capitalistic countries in the total extraction of the bauxites of the capitalistic world has increased to 47% (25% in 1960), mainly on the account of Australia. The production of alumina in the industrialized capitalistic and developing countries has increased in 1966-81 from 11 million to 27 million tonnes (Table 2).
|(Table 2) The production of alumina|
|Industrialized capitalistic countries||9104||13086||1984||20932||22213||21056|
Australia is the largest producer. The production of alumina in the developing countries is established mainly in Jamaica, Suriname, and Guinea, and also in Brazil, Guyana, and India. The developing countries, including Guinea, Jamaica, Suriname, and Guyana (approximately 60% of the export), are the largest exporters of the bauxites (Table 3).
Australia and Greece (more than 95% of the export) belong to the major exporters within the group of the industrialized capitalistic countries. The production of the primary aluminium steadily increases (Figure), and is concentrated within the industrialized capitalistic countries (thousand tonnes, 1981): USA - 4489, Canada - 1108, Japan - 771, West Germany - 729, Norway - 636, France - 436, Australia - 379, United Kingdom - 339, Italy - 274, Netherlands - 262. The largest exporters (thousand tonnes, 1981) are: Canada - 726, and Norway - 524; the largest importers are: Japan - 1129, USA - 644, West Germany - 500.
|(Table 3) The export of bauxites|
|Industrialized capitalistic countries||1288||5255||9772||10513||9877|
The major importers of the bauxites and alumina are: the USA, Canada, Japan, Norway. The USA purchase the ore from more than 10 countries, including Guinea, which accounts for 15-18% of the total import into this country. Canada imports the bauxites from 5-6 countries (Guinea is the main supplier). The western European importers import the bauxites mainly from Australia and Guinea (more than 80% of their needs). Japan purchases the bauxites mainly from Australia (70%). The largest importers of alumina are: the USA (30% of the total import), Norway (13%), Canada (10%), United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Spain. The nationalization of the bauxite-extracting enterprises is conducted since the start of the 70s within the developing countries. Many bauxite-extracting countries have sharply increased at the middle of the 70s the taxes on the extraction of the bauxites. There has been created by these countries the International association of the bauxite-extracting countries, which mission is the struggle for the rational usage of the bauxite deposits, the payment of the fair share of the income from the exploitation of the bauxites for the benefit of the extracting countries, the limitation of the influence of the international companies, the establishment of the relations between the producers and consumers on the basis of the complete equality and mutual profit, the creation of their own aluminium industry, the conduct of the uniform policy in the field of the prices of the bauxites and of the taxation of the bauxite-extracting enterprises.
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