Ma’aden Mine and Refinery Reach Commercial Production
The aluminum smelter at Ras Al Khair on Saudi Arabia’s east coast produced its first hot metal in December 2012 and processed imported alumina while waiting for the alumina refinery to come into production. The alumina refinery, also located at Ras Al Khair, has achieved stable operation and will ramp up production until reaching its design capacity of 1.8 million mt/y of alumina by early 2017. At full production, the refinery will fully meet the smelter’s requirement of 1.4 million mt/y of alumina, with the surplus production to be sold into regional and international markets.
The project’s bauxite mine is located at Al Ba’itha, 600 km northwest of Ras Al Khair. The mine has initial capacity to produce 4 million mt/y of bauxite, which is transported by rail to the alumina refinery. The smelter has capacity to produce 740,000 mt/y of aluminum metal, and the rolling mill has initial capacity to produce 380,000 mt/y of products that include automotive, building, construction, can and foil stock sheet.