Bauxite mining at Hydro Paragominas (Pará) started in 2007 and today it employs about 1,500 permanent employees and about 600 workers on long-term contracts.
Hydro Alunorte is the world’s largest alumina refinery and has nearly 1,900 permanent employees and about 800 long-term contractors. Production at Hydro Alunorte started in 1995 and after three expansions now has a total capacity of over six million metric tonnes.
Bauxite is an abundant raw material in Pará State, Brazil. The Hydro Alunorte refinery receives bauxite from two sources. The first supplier, Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN), is located in Oriximiná, west of Pará. Bauxite is shipped from MRN to the Vila do Conde Port, in Barcarena, on ships along the Trombetas and Amazon Rivers over approximately 1,000 kilometers.
Since 2007, Hydro Alunorte has also been supplied from a mine located close to the city of Paragominas, in Pará, from where the bauxite is pumped through a 244 kilometre long pipeline.
Transporting the bauxite through pipeline reduces the environmental impact – the surrounding habitat is not cut off or isolated, there are no noise or dust issues except during construction, and there are fewer resettlement impacts for the community. As the bauxite pipeline is underground it is better protected and more secure as the local population is not exposed to moving railways or trucks.