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Demographics: Aluminum

The U.S. aluminum industry is the largest in the world. Annually, it produces over 22 billion pounds of primary (made from alumina refined from bauxite ore in electrolytic cells) and secondary (made from recycled scrap materials) aluminum worth nearly $40 billion. U.S. companies remain the largest producers of primary aluminum (at 17% of world wide production). While over 1,200 facilities in the USA melt aluminum, about 23 primary aluminum smelting facilities operate in the United States and these are operated by a dozen companies. Primary aluminum facilities are concentrated in the Pacific Northwest and in the Ohio Valley.

In 1998 the American aluminum industry produced 8,185 million pounds of primary aluminum and 7,588 million pounds of secondary aluminum. It also imported ingots and mill products for another 7,196 million pounds. Much of this ingot was subsequently either melted (in a secondary process) or rolled into plate, sheet, foil, or other products.

Map View 1
A breakout of the companies that melt aluminum.
Source: Aluminum Melting & Holding
Furnace R&D Needs Assessment by Arther D. Little Inc. for GTI

Map View 2
The location of the 23 primary aluminum facilities.
Source: The Aluminum Association, Inc.