Maaden invests SR85bn in mining projects

Maaden invests SR85bn in mining projects
Updated 05 December 2014

Maaden invests SR85bn in mining projects

Maaden invests SR85bn in mining projects

Saudi Arabia is experiencing a significant increase investment in nonoil sectors of the economy.
The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) is playing a key role by developing the mining sector as the third pillar of Saudi industry, beyond oil and petrochemicals.
Through its investments, Maaden is turning the Kingdom into a major player in global markets for phosphate, aluminum, gold, copper and industrial minerals.
Since its inception, Maaden has invested over SR85 billion across all of these product lines, building fully integrated projects that extract Saudi minerals and produce finished product for local regional and global customers.
A recent report showed that the amount of investment between Maaden and its partner Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in phosphate projects reached SR21 billion in the Maaden Phosphate Company, which operates in Al-Jalamid in the Northern Province and the Eastern Province’s Ras Al-Khair.
The mine produces 11.6 million tonnes per year of ore, and significant infrastructure investments in Al Jalamid, include a power plant, potable water and communications facilities, and transport networks that make exploration and production viable. From Al-Jalamid, concentrated rock is taken by rail to Ras Al-Khair for processing in our network of facilities, including phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid, ammonia, DAP granulation and desalination plants.
At full capacity, MPC will produce 3 million tons of DAP (fertilizer) annually. Most of Maaden’s fertilizer production is sold to international markets.
The report also mentioned that Ma’aden’s second large phosphate project is a fully integrated facility at Wa’ad Al Shamal minerals industrial city.
With over SR27 billion investment, the new complex will include seven large world-class plants and associated facilities, making it one of the largest phosphate facilities in the world.
Total production capacity will be close to 16 million tons per year, including 3 million tons of finished fertilizer products, as well as 440,000 tons of downstream products.
Complementary plants to produce ammonia and phosphate-based fertilizers will be built near the port facilities at Ras Al-Khair; the twin sites will be linked by the North-South Railway.
When the new facility launches in late 2016, it will be a great source of pride for Saudi Arabia and elevate Maaden’s stature as a top five player in the global phosphates market.
According to the report, in 2009, Maaden established a joint venture with Alcoa, the world’s third-largest aluminum producer, to build the world’s most efficiently integrated aluminum project in Saudi Arabia.
This $10.8 billion (over SR40 billion) project includes a bauxite mine in Baitha in the Qassim region, and a refinery, a smelter and a very advanced rolling mill all at Ras Al-Khair.
Its product, aluminum of the highest international standards, will be sold to the domestic and global markets. It will also encourage the development of additional downstream industries within the Kingdom.
The Baitha mine’s estimated production of 4 million tons per year of bauxite will be transported via the new North-South Railway Line to Ras Al-Khair where the first alumina refinery in the Middle East will produce 1.8 million tons per year of alumina.
That alumina will be processed in the smelter, whose annual production capacity is 740,000 tons per year of primary aluminum. The rolling mill is one of the most technically advanced in the world, with its 380,000-ton annual capacity. It will focus on producing aluminum cans and auto sheet for the automotive industry, but also has the capacity to recycle aluminium scrap.
Regarding the environment, it mentioned that earlier this year, Maaden announced the completion of Saudi Arabia’s first engineered wetlands wastewater management system at our aluminium project in Ras Al-Khair.
This unique system, designed and engineered by Alcoa to replicate the physical, chemical and biological processes of natural wetlands, collects and cleans sanitary and industrial wastewater without using chemicals, and eliminates odors.
This groundbreaking system will reduce water demand by nearly two million gallons or 7.5 million liters per day, saving more than SR26 million ($7 million) in fresh water supplies annually.
In addition to its environmental benefits, the new system has also eliminated the need for an estimated 1,000 tons of steel for piping and tanks. This technology is now being considered for other applications across Saudi Arabia. The cleaned water is reused in the manufacturing process and for irrigation at Ras Al-Khair.