Many people are surprised to learn that bauxite is not a mineral. It is a rock composed mainly of aluminum-bearing minerals. It forms when laterite soils are severely leached of silica and other soluble materials in a wet tropical or subtropical climate. Bauxite is the primary ore of aluminum. Almost all of the aluminum that has ever been produced has been extracted from bauxite. The United States has a few small bauxite deposits but at least 99% of the bauxite used in the United States is imported. The United States is also a major importer of aluminum metal. Bauxite does not have a specific composition. It is a mixture of hydrous aluminum oxides, aluminum hydroxides, clay minerals, and insoluble materials such as quartz, hematite, magnetite, siderite, and goethite. The aluminum minerals in bauxite can include: gibbsite Al(OH)3, boehmite AlO(OH), and, diaspore, AlO(OH) - "".