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The development of bauxite at Gove, 1955–1975

Lee, David 2014, The development of bauxite at Gove, 1955–1975, Journal of Australasian mining history, vol. 12, pp. 131-147.

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Title The development of bauxite at Gove, 1955–1975
Author(s) Lee, David
Journal name Journal of Australasian mining history
Volume number 12
Start page 131
End page 147
Total pages 17
Publisher Australasian Mining History Association
Place of publication Crawley, W.A.
Publication date 2014-10
ISSN 1448-4471
Keyword(s) Mining history
Bauxite
Alumina
Summary In the early 1950s Australia mined little bauxite and produced no alumina, that being the chemically pure aluminium oxide which is extracted from bauxite and then smelted in electric furnaces to produce aluminium metal. The huge costs of aluminium production meant that, after World War II, six large companies dominated the aluminium industry worldwide, from mining bauxite through to fabricating and selling metal. These were Alcoa, Reynolds Metals and Kaiser in the United States, Alcan in Canada, Pechiney in France and Alusuisse in Switzerland. In the 1940s the Chifley government planned a small aluminium smelter in Tasmania largely for defence purposes, and originally dependent on imported bauxite. Government co-operation with industry to search for indigenous bauxite feedstock for the smelter saw two discoveries of bauxite at about the same time in northern Australia in the 1950s-the first at Gove in the Northern Territory and the second, much larger find, across the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland. These two discoveries and the proving of bauxite deposits of commercial grade in Western Australia a few years later meant that Australia possessed an astonishing one third of the world's bauxite by the early 1960s.
Language eng
Field of Research 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
2103 Historical Studies
2101 Archaeology
Socio Economic Objective 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Australasian Mining History Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30084461

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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