Alcoa and Saudi Arabian mining company Ma’aden have formed a joint venture to develop a $10.8-billion, fully integrated alumina-aluminum complex in Saudi Arabia. In its initial phases, the complex will include a bauxite mine with a capacity of 4 million mt/y; an alumina refinery with a capacity of 1.8 million mt/y; an aluminum smelter with capacity to produce 740,000 mt/y of ingot, slab, and billet; and a rolling mill with hot-mill capacity of between 250,000 and 460,000 mt/y.

The refinery, smelter, and rolling mill will be established in a new industrial zone at Raz Az Zawr on Saudi Arabia’s east coast. Bauxite feedstock for the alumina refinery will be transported by rail from a new mine at Al Ba’itha, near Quiba, in the north of the country.

The Alcoa-Ma’aden project will be developed in two phases. The smelter and rolling mill will be developed first, with first production planned for 2013. The mine and alumina refinery will be developed for a production start in 2014. Alcoa will arrange the supply of alumina feedstock required by the smelter from outside Saudi Arabia until the alumina refinery comes on stream. The pro-
ject will be owned 60% by Ma’aden and 40% by an investment partnership controlled by Alcoa.

The Raz Az Zawr industrial complex is located on a 77-km2 site 90 km north of Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The complex is also the site of Ma’aden’s integrated chemical and phosphate fertilizer facilities, where construction is nearing completion and production is due to begin in 2010. The plants will process phosphate concentrate brought by rail from a phosphate mine and concentrator being developed at Al Jalamid in northern Saudi Arabia.