Due to strong demand from the European aluminum industry, the Russian bauxite mining market has remained strong despite a string of recent political and environmental regulations that threaten the industry.
The analysis comes as part of a new report by natural resources experts at GBI research, which noted that Russia is home to vast reserves of bauxite. Approximately 1.4 million metric tons of bauxite reserves are located in Russia, representing 70 percent of Europe’s total regional reserves, Mining-Reporter.com reports.
The report found that bauxite demand from Europe rose by an estimated 3.7 percent in 2011. Global consumption demand for alumina and aluminum is expected to increase by approximately four percent annually, and bauxite demand should remain buoyant in the foreseeable future. The steady increase in alumina and aluminum demand can be attributed to high rates of growth in the construction, transportation and manufacturing sectors.
Currently, more than 90 percent of Russian bauxite is consumed domestically, primarily by the country’s largest aluminum company, Rusal. Bauxite mining in Russia is subject to the country’s Subsoil Law, which prevents foreign companies from exploiting deposits of metals of strategic importance to the Russian federal government, according to Mining-Reporter.com.