Download Aluminum Ore: The Political Economy of the Global Bauxite by Robin Gendron, Mats Ingulstad, Espen Storli PDF

By Robin Gendron, Mats Ingulstad, Espen Storli

Because the key part in aluminum creation, bauxite has develop into the most very important minerals of the final 100 years. to a couple it introduced fiscal and political virtue, yet for plenty of others, its improvement left a legacy of exploitation. Aluminum Ore explores the historical past of bauxite within the 20th century and the worldwide forces that this historical past represents, from its strategic improvement within the First international conflict to its position within the globalization of markets as businesses from the northern hemisphere vied for the assets of the south. that includes essays by way of students from all over the world, this wide-ranging assortment is a historical past of 1 crucial mineral and a brand new standpoint on a time of change.

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The Guianas The global race for bauxite started in the Guianas of South America. Here, the aluminum producers ventured outside Western Europe and North America for the first time, and the investments made in the European colonies of Dutch Guiana (today Suriname) and British Guiana (today Guyana) would act as a model for later expansion in remote regions. In addition, it established Alcoa as the dominant actor in the bauxite industry, a position the company would maintain during the interwar years.

First, bauxite was considered to be a limited resource, and controlling the deposits was the best way for a producer to secure a reliable supply of raw material. Second, there were tactical considerations behind the vertical integration. 9 Thus, in this early period, bauxite was the preoccupation of private companies and not an arena in which states exerted control. Neither in France nor in the United States was the ownership of bauxite land subject to any strict concession policies. The search for good bauxite properties was initially a race between the aluminum producers, but this was to change during the First World War.

The matter was resolved when VAW facilitated Aluérc’s takeover of a bankrupt German chemical company in 1931. For fourteen months, VAW’s engineers taught Hungarian workers and engineers how to make alumina in the plant; afterward the plant was disassembled and moved to Hungary. Aluérc started producing alumina in Hungary in 1934. 52 The old Hungarian dream of making aluminum from domestic bauxite had finally come true. The Hungary case is a potent illustration of how politicized the bauxite industry became during the First World War and in the interwar years.

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