Bauxite is used as the principal ore in aluminum. Bauxite can be beige, white, yellow, gray or pink, and has opaque transparency and a dull luster. Countries that produce bauxite include Australia, China, Brazil, Jamaica, Suriname, the United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, India and Russia.
A leading producer of bauxite in the United States is Arkansas, which has a town named after the mineral. Other producing states include Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. Bauxite was named after Les Baux, the French town where bauxite was first discovered. In 2009, Australia produced over 40 percent of world's bauxite. It is typically extracted from strip mining because bauxite is usually found near the surface or terrain.