||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
I 1. Introduction
II 2. The Role Of Technology
III 3. Some Highlights Of Australian Minerals Technology
iv Technology in iron ore mining
v Iron and steel technology
vii Mineral sands
viii Bauxite, alumina, aluminium
IV 4. Other Technological Achievements (in brief)
V 5. Export Of Technology
VI 6. Education And Research
VII 7. The Scientific Societies
VIII 8. Conclusion
Bauxite, alumina, aluminium (continued)While the Weipa deposit was being proven, so too was another major bauxite resource in the Darling Ranges, WA and by the end of 1963 the Kwinana alumina refinery and the smelter at Point Henry, Vic. had been commissioned by Alcoa of Australia Ltd. Two more alumina refineries were commissioned by Alcoa at Pinjarra in 1972 and Wagerup in 1984. A fourth refinery in the Darling Range area was commissioned in 1984 by a consortium led by Reynolds Ltd. The combined capacities of the four refineries total 5.6 Mt/yr.
A third major source of bauxite and alumina is the Gove deposit in the Northern Territory, where 6 Mt/yr of bauxite is mined to produce 1.1 Mt/yr of alumina and substantial exports of bauxite. Operations commenced in 1971 under the Nabaico consortium which includes Alusuisse.
Smelting developments have been continuous over some 30 years, commencing with Comalco's Bell Bay (first production 1955, present capacity 125,000 t/yr); Alcoa's Point Henry (1963, 170,000 t/yr); Alcan's Kurri Kurri (1969, 150,000 t/yr); Comalco's Boyne (1982, 208,000 t/yr); Pechiney's Tomago (1985, 230,000 t/yr); Alcoa's Portland (1986, 150,000 t/yr). The total capacity of 1 Mt/yr of aluminium as against 40 Mt/yr of bauxite and 10 Mt/yr of alumina suggests significant opportunities for a further expansion of smelting capacity within Australia when world demand again increases, having regard to plentiful energy reserves and certain environmental advantages over other world producers. It may be said that all Australian alumina and aluminium plants operate at a high technological level and that research and development achievements continue to be significant at both plant and laboratory levels. Some selected instances would include the following:
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Alcan Australia Ltd; Alcoa of Australia Ltd; Comalco Ltd; Pechiney Australia Pty Ltd; Reynolds Metals Co.
© 1988 Print Edition pages 765 - 766, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher