Recently, the main producing areas of individual bauxite resources have become more stringent with the environmental protection policy. Many alumina plants are concerned about the supply of raw materials. So, how to determine the demand for bauxite? How to solve the problem of supply of bauxite?
Bauxite supply is insufficient in relation to demand
There is a voice that believes that it is possible to broaden the channels of mineral resources and consider the possibility of importing bauxite for domestic mines. In fact, China is still in the middle to late stage of industrialization, and the level of infrastructure construction and social wealth accumulation is much lower than that of developed countries. With the exception of crude steel and cement, the consumption of major mineral resources will continue to be on the rise. Over the years, China has continuously increased measures to increase the aluminum resources protection capabilities through measures such as increased exploration and storage and storage ratios. However, it is very difficult to significantly reduce the external dependence of aluminum resources.
On the one hand, China's bauxite resources are relatively poor relative to the huge consumption. The global bauxite resources are abundant and distributed in more than 50 countries. Guinea and Australia account for about half of the world's bauxite resources. Relatively speaking, China's bauxite resources are relatively scarce, accounting for only 2.96%. In terms of demand, nearly 40% of the world's alumina production capacity is concentrated in China, which has directly led to the difficulty of responding to the increasing demand for bauxite resources in China. In addition, with the surge in domestic demand, the scale of development and utilization of bauxite in China has continued to expand, and the domestic output of bauxite has increased significantly. According to statistics, China surpassed Brazil in 2009 to become the second largest bauxite producer in the world. At present, China is producing less than 17% of the world's bauxite reserves with less than 3% of the world's reserves. Following this trend, China will face depletion of its bauxite resources in the future.
On the other hand, the quality of bauxite in China is poor and there is no advantage under the same conditions. China's bauxite is dominated by diaspore, and the quality of the ore is poor, directly leading to difficult processing. Alumina production uses a combination of higher energy consumption. Under the same conditions, Chinese enterprises are more inclined to import foreign high-grade ore, and the use of imported ore alumina plants to reduce logistics costs, the future new production projects will be mainly concentrated in the coastal areas, especially Guangxi and Liaoning, these areas can be directly Docking downstream major electrolytic aluminum production areas.
The reality is that production companies do rely heavily on imports from abroad. According to statistics, in 2016, the total amount of bauxite exports in the world was 51.78 million tons, which accounted for 27% of the world production. The proportion of bauxite production in China was very small, and it showed a declining trend year by year. Therefore, China needs to import a large amount of bauxite every year from Australia, Brazil, Guinea, India, Malaysia and Ghana. In the first half of 2017, China imported about 32 million tons of bauxite, a year-on-year increase of 27.3%. Among them, imports in June amounted to about 6.89 million tons, a substantial increase of 21.6%.
For alumina plants, with the increasing consumption of domestic high-grade bauxite resources, the launch of new production capacity of domestic alumina plants will inevitably be affected, especially in the case of strict environmental supervision, normalization, the future The supply of bauxite is very likely to become a bottleneck in the increase of production capacity of domestic alumina refineries. The use of imported minerals to produce alumina will gradually show its advantages in the next 3 to 5 years. According to statistics, the alumina production capacity of imported minerals to be newly built in the future will reach 14 million tons (accounting for 18% of current production capacity), including Chinalco Fangchenggang Alumina Project, Bosei Mining Yingkougang Alumina Project and Dalian Shengao Group Jinzhou Port Alumina project. The three projects are expected to be completed and put into operation from 2018 to 2019. Among them, Chinalco Fangchenggang Project plans to build an aluminum industry park integrating alumina-aluminum smelting-aluminum processing, and alumina will be directly matched to the smelting needs of the downstream electrolytic aluminum plant, while the Bosai Yingkou Port Project and the Jinzhou Port The alumina produced by the project is mainly used for electrolytic aluminum plants in Inner Mongolia and Northwest China.