The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and lightweight metals leader Alcoa today announced that the alumina refinery at their joint venture aluminum complex in Saudi Arabia has successfully produced its first alumina from Saudi Arabian bauxite. The alumina refinery at Ras Al Khair is the first ever refinery to be constructed and operated in the region.
The milestone marks the commencement of the final link in the supply chain of this fully integrated aluminum facility. The alumina refinery will refine Saudi Arabian bauxite, supplied from Ma’aden Aluminium’s mine at Al Ba’itha and transported by 600 km rail to Ras Al Khair. The alumina from this refinery will feed into the Ma’aden Aluminium Smelter which produces the aluminum needed for the Ma’aden Aluminium Rolling Mill. This fully integrated chain delivers operational efficiency and creates the most competitive aluminum complex in the world.
Once fully operational the refinery will produce 1.8 million mtpy of alumina. The alumina will be transported by conveyor to the adjacent smelter to produce 740,000 mtpy of high quality aluminum products for customers in the Gulf region and in international markets.
“We are building a minerals and metals industry in Saudi Arabia that maximizes the value of the nation’s mineral resources; contributes to sustainable economic diversification and shareholder value; provides high value job opportunities for Saudis and a reliable supply of quality products to our global customers. This milestone marks a significant moment for our industry in Saudi Arabia and the broader GCC region,” said Khalid Mudaifer, President and CEO of Ma’aden.
“As the lowest cost aluminum complex in the world, the Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture is an important plank of Alcoa’s strategy to create a globally competitive commodity business,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The first alumina milestone is another demonstration of our disciplined execution as we transform Alcoa to create sustainable shareholder value.”
About the Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture
In its initial phases, the joint venture will develop a fully integrated industrial complex which will become the world's preeminent primary aluminum, alumina and aluminum products, with access and proximity to growing world markets. The complex comprises:
- A bauxite mine with an initial capacity of 4,000,000 metric tons per year
- An alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1,800,000 metric tons per year
- An aluminum smelter with an initial capacity of 740,000 metric tons per year
- The rolling mill, with initial capacity of 380,000 metric tons per year.