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The Kwinana bauxite refinery, 20 kilometres south of Perth, in Western Australia, employs up to 1000 people and a considerable number of contractors with 60 percent residing in the nearby towns of Cockburn and Rockhampton as well at Kwinana. The refinery was officially opened in July 1963 with production getting underway three months later, in October. The refinery was built ro refine bauxite mined at the Jarrahdale mine.

Western Australian Economy has Benefitted from the Kwinana Refinery
Bauxite was believed to exist in the Western Australian Darling Ranges as far back as the early 1900's but it was not until 1957 before Western Mining Corpopration (WMC) confirmed their existence through a program of successful exploration. This discovery led the way to a joint venture company being formed to develop an aluminium industry in the area. One of the partners in this joint venture was the Aluminium Company of America (now known as Alcoa) and by 1961 the joint venture partners were granted a 12,619 square kilometre lease to mine the bauxite ore body in the area and by 1963 the Jarrahdale bauxite mine was in production and the Kwinana refinery had commenced refining. The economy of Western Australia benefitted considerably from the decision to establish the bauxite refinery at Kwinana and its construction drew much interest from the wider community at the time.

Kwinana Refinery has Grown Over the Last 50 Years

By 1973 the initial 200,000 tonne, one unit plant had grown to become a six unit facility handling 1.5 million tonnes a year. Since that time it has continued to be upgraded until today it produces two million tonnes of alumina annually from five units. The Jarrahdale mine lasted until 1998 supplying bauxite to the Kwinana refinery and during that time it was the refinery's only source of supply. During its 35 years of operation the mine produced 168 million tonnes of bauxite that was refined to produced 44.6 million tonnes of alumina at the Kwinana refinery. The bauxite refined at the Kwinana refinery today is supplied from two bauxite mines, one at Willowdale and the other at Huntly. The Huntly mine supplies bauxite to the Pinjarra refinery as well as the Kwinana refinery that is now over 50 years old.

Kwinana Refinery was First in the World to be Accredited to Produce Speciality Alumina
Most of the Kwinana refinery alumina is of smelter grade that is used to produce aluminium sheeting or ignots but it also produces a chemical grade product known as speciality alumina. The chemical grade product is produced by adding a further processing step during the refining process. This grade of alumina has a wide manufacturing and industrial application range throughout the world in such things as; purifying water, a carpet fire retardant, plastics, processing petroleum, abrasives, ceramics, paper sizing, artificial marble and refractory materials. The Kwinana refinery was the first in the world to be accredited to produce speciality alumina.

Kwinana Refinery Offers Rewarding Careers
The Kwinana refinery offers workers some of the most rewarding jobs in the resource industry without having to move to isolated areas, or be separated from a family as a fly-in-fly-out worker. It offers the opportunity to work in an area close to a capital city with some of the best coastal locations in the entire country. Over 60 percent of Alcoa's workforce have been with the company for over 10 years which has given the company considerable stability. Many employees have been employed at the Kwinana refinery for over 25 years, some up to 40 years. Some families have had family members work at the refinery for three generations.


Alcoas Australian current operations include bauxite mining in WA alumina refineries, aluminium recycling plant in NSW and aluminium smelting in VIC. Alcoa produces almost 45% of Australia's alumina and over 25% of Australia's aluminium.Alcoa is one of Australia's largest exporters contributing...........read more


Cnr Davey Marmion Streets
Booragoon, WA 6954

PO Box 252
Applecross, WA 6953


Phone08 9316 5111
fax08 9316 5228

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