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August 27, 2010

Ma’aden-Alcoa JV Chooses Wagstaff to Supply Critical Casting Technology to Serve New Smelter and Region’s First Can Sheet Rolling Mill

MONTREAL--The Ma’aden-Alcoa joint venture has selected Wagstaff, Inc. to supply the joint venture’s vertical direct chill casting complex with t-ingot, rolling ingot, and extrusion billet casting equipment. The contract includes capital equipment and technology to produce aluminum rolling ingot and extrusion billet at the casting complex, currently under construction and scheduled to start production in 2013 in Ras Az Zawr, Saudi Arabia.

The greenfield smelter and rolling mill comprise the first of two phases in this super-project, which will leverage Saudi Arabia’s bauxite and energy resources with Alcoa know-how, management expertise and support to create the world’s largest and lowest cost fully integrated aluminum manufacturing complex. The rolling mill will be the region’s first and one of the most technologically advanced in the world and will primarily produce can stock, end stock and tab stock for the regional market. It will have initial hot-mill capacity of between 250,000 and 460,000 metric tons per year.

The new contract for the casting complex supply includes Wagstaff leading edge ingot and billet casting systems, as well as integrated automated controls, which have been shown to deliver improved recovery rates, and higher levels of workplace convenience and safety. The casting facility will also feature Alcoa’s advanced proprietary ingot casting technology which yields highly improved surface finish to rolling ingots with consequential gains in rolling efficiency and product quality.

“As a longstanding, dedicated supplier to global Alcoa casting facilities and with many successful greenfield installations in the Middle East and around the world, Wagstaff is uniquely positioned to provide precision, state-of-the-art direct chill casting equipment to the Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture, and to remain a constant resource from current equipment design activities through delivery, commissioning, operator training, post-startup technical support, and beyond,” said Ray Kilmer, Vice President, Alcoa Global Rolled Products.

About Ma'aden -

Established by Royal Decree No. M/17 dated 14/11/1417 Hijri (March 1997) to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabian’s non-petroleum resources, the Company’s Initial Public Offering took place in July 2008. The Government of Saudi Arabia through the Public Investment Fund retained 50% of ownership, whereas institutional and individual investors acquired the remaining 50%.

Ma'aden has progressed towards realizing its vision to be a world class international mining company and its mission to become profitable for its shareholders, while maintaining the utmost concern for human resources, health and safety, environmental and social issues.

The Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture will become the world's preeminent and lowest-cost supplier of primary aluminum, alumina and aluminum products, with access to the growing markets of the Middle East and beyond. The complex will utilize critical infrastructure, including low-cost and clean power generation, as well as port and rail facilities, developed by the Kingdom's government. Bauxite feedstock for the planned alumina refinery will be transported by rail from the new mine at Al Ba'itha, near Quiba, in the north. The smelter and rolling mill will begin operations in 2013 with the mine and refinery coming on stream in 2014.

About Alcoa -

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for eight consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

About Wagstaff –

Wagstaff, Inc. is a 64-year-old technology and manufacturing company that provides customized, advanced aluminum direct-chill (DC) solidification solutions to rolling ingot and extrusion billet producers worldwide. Wagstaff offers casting machines, mold systems, process automation, rolling ingot tooling, extrusion billet tooling, auxiliary equipment and technical service and support to all sizes of DC aluminum casting operations in 55 countries around the globe.

With manufacturing in Spokane, Washington, and Hebron, Kentucky, USA, and service and commercial resources placed in strategic locations close to global aluminum production centers, Wagstaff is positioned to deliver, commission, and service casting operations worldwide.