A picture of bauxite ore.

A remedy for red mud residue

Alumina refining generates about 80 million tonnes of bauxite residues (red mud) each year. These residues are a potentially valuable resource for re-use in various ways. (4:12)

  • 19 April 2010

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Bauxite residues have been re-used for:

  • improvement of sandy soils
  • neutralising acidic mining wastes
  • construction purposes (e.g. road fill, brick making)
  • ceramics and brick manufacture
  • feedstock for mineral production (e.g. pig iron, titanium dioxide pigment).

However, the suitability of bauxite residue from any given refinery for any of the above applications depends on the original bauxite ore, the residue composition, and the way it was processed and stored.

To aid decision-making about the most appropriate options for residue re-use, a Light Metals Flagship project team (working through the Parker CRC for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions) have developed the Bauxite, Residue and Disposal Database (BRaDD).

The database enables sharing of information about the ways in which alumina refineries across the world have processed, stored and re-used bauxite residues.

In this podcast, Dr Markus Gräfe of CSIRO Process Science and Engineering talks about the development of BRaDD and its potential to assist the alumina industry in finding the best options for re-using residue.

Read more about the Bauxite residue database.