Indian Bauxite Production Set to More Than Double by 2021

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Supply & Demand

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One of the top five regions in the world with the largest deposits of bauxite, India’s bauxite production is expected to increase from 22.08 million tons in 2016 to 49.4 million tons by 2021, according to new research.

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The BMI Research report says bauxite production is projected to hit 26.1 million tons this year, about 18% higher than 2016.

In the last two decades, India’s bauxite ore production has kept up with its aluminum output. As is the case with steel and other metals, bauxite production in the country, too, was estimated to go up in 2017 because of increasing domestic demand.

India has about about 5% of the world’s bauxite resources (at about 3,500 million tons). Preceding India are countries such as Guinea, Australia and Brazil. Other sector analysts have already forecast bauxite production in India to grow by 17.7% though 2020.

According to the BMI report, India’s production was a total 22.08 million times last year, while production this year was expected to jump by 18%. Available trends indicated that the country’s overall bauxite ore production total in 2021 would reach 49.4 million tons.

A reason for the increase in production, according to the report, was the increased domestic demand for aluminium, which will largely be sourced from the quintupling of land under mining lease in the Odisha province (which has the bulk of India’s bauxite reserves). Leading India’s bauxite ore production growth is Vedanta Resources, which recently signed an agreement with the local government to supply its aluminum smelter.

Largely found near the surface, bauxite is the main source of aluminum and is usually strip mined.

But some sector analysts are not very bullish on bauxite production, given tightening environmental controls and ever-increasing anti-mining protests from locals, especially in Odisha.

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Recently, bauxite deposits have also been discovered in the provinces of Jammu and Poonch areas of the Jammu and Kashmir state, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

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