What is it and where is it formed?
Bauxite is not a mineral,
but a rock with minerals in it. Bauxite is a
sedimentary rock that is an aluminum ore. It is formed
rocks. It costs a lot of money to get the aluminum out of
other ores, so Bauxite is important.
How and where it is
Open pit mining is used to get bauxite. The water in
bauxite is taken out of the ore. This leaves a white powder
that is called alumina which is another name for aluminum
oxide. Alumina is made into aluminum. The U.S. makes the
most aluminum but doesn’t mine it here. We bring in the
bauxite from other countries and use recycled aluminum to
make things. Aluminum comes from Canada, China, Australia,
India, Brazil, and Russia.
What is it used for? Bauxite
is used in cement, chemicals, face makeup, soda cans,
dishwashers, siding for houses, and other aluminum products.
It is recycled so that it can be used over again.
Interesting! Bauxite is thought of as a rock because the minerals in
it can be very different depending on where it is found. Actual
minerals aren’t that changeable. Mineral identification is based on the
‘sameness’ of the mineral each time a piece is found. For example, if
you found a piece of halite, or salt, it would always look shiny or
glassy, and always break evenly into cubes. Since the kinds of minerals
that are in bauxite change a lot, its mineral identification
changes from rock to rock, too. The ‘sameness’ for mineral
identification is not there so geologists think of it as a rock.