An inert anode for the electrolytic production of metals such as aluminum is disclosed. The inert anode includes a ceramic oxide material preferably made from NiO, Fe.sub.2 O.sub.3 and ZnO. The inert anode composition may comprise the following mole fractions of NiO, Fe.sub.2 O.sub.3 and ZnO: 0.2 to 0.99 NiO; 0.0001 to 0.8 Fe.sub.2 O.sub.3 ; and 0.0001 to 0.3 ZnO. The inert anode may optionally include other oxides and/or at least one metal phase, such as Cu, Ag, Pd, Pt, Au, Rh, Ru, Ir and/or Os. The Ni--Fe--Co--O ceramic material exhibits very low solubility in Hall cell baths used to produce aluminum.