A bauxite mine is where the ore is extracted from the earth for commercial production. Bauxite is an ore comprised of aluminum hydroxide minerals, silica, iron oxide, titania, and aluminosilicate. It is commonly used in cement as well as metallurgy. It can be refined to obtain aluminum metal.
Bauxite is a raw mineral that is the source of aluminum, which comprises 8% of the Earth’s crust. There are also traces of silica, iron and titanium in the composition of bauxite. Bauxite mining has been closely watched by environmentalists, as an example of relatively sustainable practice with regard to rainforest preservation. Only 6% of the total bauxite mining locations are located in rain forests, and of this, 80% is restored to the original, native forest. The remaining 20% is replaced by agriculture, commercial forest or recreational areas, which can be beneficial for populations living adjacent to the sites. In the case when bauxite mines are developed within rain forests, the site is almost always reverted back to its original setting. To date, nearly half of the aluminum production sites in Brazil (approx. 550 acres) have been completely restored to the native rainforest setting, with over a million transplants of 350 native species.
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