The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and lightweight metals company Alcoa 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 a highly competitive aluminum complex.
Once fully operational the refinery will produce 1.8 million tons per year of alumina. The alumina will be transported by conveyor to the adjacent smelter to produce annually 740,000 tons 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.”