a unique metal

driving the green transition

Aluminium is the world’s most used non-ferrous base metal. But with its attractive properties and strategic role in the green transition, aluminium is anything but basic. Our sustainable, versatile material allows key sectors to decarbonise and achieve otherwise impossible outcomes through its unique combination of properties and effects. You can find aluminium everywhere: from packaging, consumer durables, and healthcare products to buildings, construction, mobility, aerospace, and energy generation.

Driving the Green Transition

Serving six out of the EU’s fourteen industrial ecosystems, aluminium is a critical component for the greening of our economy. From solar panels, wind turbines and batteries to resource-efficient packaging, e-mobility and sustainable buildings, the road to net-zero is paved with aluminium!

From Mine to Market

Bauxite mining

Aluminium production begins with bauxite, a reddish rock that is the primary “aluminium ore”. Most bauxite is mined in tropical or subtropical regions but also in Europe to a certain extent. Through the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative and corporate programs, the aluminium industry takes a proactive stake in contributing to responsible mining that minimises social and environmental impacts during operation and post-closure of the mine.

From Mine to Market

Alumina production

To produce primary aluminium, you need alumina. Alumina is extracted from bauxite via a process called refining. The refining process has two steps: first, the bauxite is dissolved with caustic soda to remove residues and obtain aluminium hydroxide; then, it is heated to remove the water contained in this hydroxide. After the refining process, alumina looks like a white powder similar to table salt.

From Mine to Market

Primary aluminium production

Molten aluminium is extracted from alumina through a process called smelting. This process is fully electrified and uses a powerful electric current to extract pure aluminium from alumina. After this electrolysis, molten aluminium can be collected from the bottom of the pot. This liquid metal is transferred to the casthouse, where it is purified, alloyed to specification, and then cast into ingots or billets ready for semi-fabrication.

From Mine to Market

Semi-fabrication (rolling & extrusion)

Aluminium ingots can be rolled into sheets for use in aluminium beverage cans, foil and car bodies, for example. Through extrusion, aluminium billets can be shaped in their required form and deliver almost unlimited possibilities in product design for furniture, building components, or cars.

From Mine to Market


Once aluminium scrap is collected and sorted, it is placed into a melting furnace and turned into molten aluminum, which can be cast into new ingots or billets. Depending on customer requirements, alloying elements may be added to produce the desired product specifications. Aluminium can be recycled endlessly without losing its original properties, making it a key contributor to a more resource-efficient society. Furthermore, recycling aluminium only requires about 5% of the energy used to produce primary aluminium, providing huge CO2-saving benefits.

Aluminium's unique benefits


Aluminium can be recycled endlessly with no downgrading of quality, making aluminium a material with permanent properties. Furthermore, the aluminium recycling process requires only about 5% of the energy used to produce primary aluminium - a significant CO2-saving benefit.


Aluminium is a very light material, with one-third the density of steel. Despite its lightness, it is an extremely strong metal that can provide the same strength relative to weight ratio as advanced steel and titanium.

High conductivity

Aluminium is a great conductor for heat and electricity, enabling energy-efficient systems for electricity transmission.

Corrosion-resistant & highly durable

Aluminium develops a natural oxide layer, protecting it against corrosion and making it virtually maintenance-free. That’s key for both products with very long lifetimes or applications exposed to extreme conditions, such as satellites and airplanes!

Easy to work with

Aluminium is easy to form, join and work with, thanks to its ductility, low melting points, and lightness. It’s basically suitable for any application, in any form.


Aluminium is an excellent barrier against light, odour, and contamination, making it a perfect packaging material.