Bauxite ore is the world’s primary source of aluminum. The ore must first be chemically processed to produce alumina (aluminum oxide). Alumina is then smelted using an electrolysis process to produce pure aluminum metal. Bauxite is typically found in topsoil located in various tropical and subtropical regions. The ore is acquired through environmentally responsible strip-mining operations. Reserves are projected to last for centuries. Major deposits of gravels mixed with sand were discovered in Australia in the 1950s, and it became the world’s top producer of bauxite by the early 21st century. Other top producers include China, Indonesia, Brazil, and India. In addition, monohydrate ores have been extensively mined in France, Italy, and Greece and trihydrate ores in Arkansas, U.S., and in Suriname, Guyana, and Jamaica. Gibbsite-rich ores occur in Ghana.