The bauxite industry failed when run by the Lindeners, the best thing ever happened was to close the damn plant, they were highest paid unskilled labourers in the country. Tell them to get an education or follow the Indians and toil the land.
I don’t know why people always compare the bauxite industry to sugar. The economic and industrial realities are very different.
The bauxite industry did not produce ingots, but raw Alumina, which then needs to be sold to refineries/smelters. Many of these companies have their own supply chain. Demba used to be part of Alcan while Bermine used to be part of Reynolds, now part of Altria, I think.
These operations were integrated in their supply chains. Nationalization took them out and these companies sought other sources.
Notwithstanding that, Aluminum is the most recycled metal, as such, demand was robust as long as the need expanded. Composites and other alternatives mitigated much of this new demand.
Sugar, on the other hand, was a fungible consumed finished raw ready to be used in a variety of industries. It’s easier to sell raw sugar than raw alumina. Booker sold raw sugar as a commodity.
So the future of bauxite is best served being part of a integrated supply chain, thus the Chinese and Russians. Raw Sugar can be sold as is!