Aluminum ore, called bauxite, is most commonly formed in deeply weathered rocks. In some locations, deeply weather volcanic rocks, usually basalt, form bauxite deposits. This sample of bauxite ore is from Western Australia.
Uses for Aluminum
Aluminum has a wide range of common uses. It is lightweight, strong (especially with alloys), and conducts heat well. Many kitchen items (pots and pans, foil, dishes) are made of aluminum. Most materials used for transportation use large amounts of aluminum: cars, trucks, boats, aircraft, and aircraft engines. Road signs and high-voltage power lines are also made mostly of aluminum.
World Supply of Aluminum
About 110 million tonnes of aluminum was produced in 1994. Australia produces most of the world's aluminum. Diagram from ITAM Bauxite by the Minerals Council of Australia.