Title: Bauxite Pipeline More Economical at Distances in Excess of 200 km

Bauxite is more economical only if the distance is 200 km or more otherwise cost of slurrying and deatering makes rail more cost effective. The traditional methods of transporting bauxite from mine to alumina refinery over long distances are by rail or conveyor. However, slurrying bauxite and pumping it through a pipeline is a viable option that warrants serious consideration. This is especially true in rugged terrain where rail and conveyor construction can become expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, a pipeline can offer the benefits of being unobtrusive, more environmentally friendly, and less subject to interference from local populations. The world’s first long-distance bauxite slurry pipeline was commissioned in Brazil in May 2007. Owned by Mineração Bauxita Paragominas (MBP), it is pumping up to 4.5 million tonnes of dry bauxite per year 245 km to the Alunorte Refinery. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of a bauxite slurry pipeline and notes major issues in considering such an option. It compares the costs of the rail and pipeline transport options over a range of long distances traversing rugged terrain and identifies the point where economics begin to favor the pipeline.

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   Person Information
  •     Cunningham, Terry  -  Bechtel Power

   Application Sequencing
 212000 - Mining & Quarrying                
 212299 - All Other Metal Ore Mining                
Company  Product  Process  Other  Subjects  Event  Event  Date  Location  Publication  Publication  Date Text  Descriptor
  • Bechtel Power

  • Pipe

  • Slurry




  • Australia




  • Article