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November 30, 2010

Ma’aden and Alcoa Sign Bank Financing for Ma’aden Aluminum Smelter and Ma’aden Can-Sheet Rolling Mill; Will move Immediately into Financing for Mine and Refinery

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia & NEW YORK--Ma’aden, the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, and Alcoa today announced that the Ma’aden Aluminium Company and Ma’aden Rolling Company both of which are owned 74.9% by Ma’aden and 25.1% by Alcoa have signed bank financing for the Middle East’s first fully integrated aluminum smelter and food-grade can-sheet rolling mill in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.. Sixteen financial institutions, together providing over US$1.9 billion, participated in the signing. The financing has been heavily oversubscribed.

Engineer Abdullah Busfar, interim President of the smelting and rolling mill companies and Vice President of the Ma’aden Aluminum SBU, said that there had been wide ranging international interest in financing the project. “We have the participation of major Saudi Arabian banks as well as major international banks,” he said.

Busfar added that the signing marked the latest in a string of milestones that the project has met successfully under challenging deadlines. “We signed the JV Agreement in December last year, broke ground in June this year, met our financing commitments in the same month, and poured first concrete on October 24, just 10 months after signing the JV. We are well and truly on our way,” he said.

At the ceremony, Ken Wisnoski, Alcoa’s president of Global Primary Products Growth, said: “We are pleased that financing, on very attractive terms, for the smelter and the rolling mill was achieved swiftly during a challenging period in the global financial markets. We are gratified by the significant over-subscription, which reflects the bank groups’ strong support for this project. It echoes our own confidence in the project’s potential to become the preeminent aluminum manufacturing complex in the Middle East.”

The companies will shortly commence the financing process for the mine and refinery, which constitute the second phase of the US$10.8 billion Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture.

About Ma’aden

Ma’aden was established as a Saudi Arabian joint stock company in March 1997 to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabia’s non-petroleum mineral resources and to diversify the Kingdom’s economy away from the petroleum and petrochemical sectors.

Ma’aden is engaged in the development, advancement and improvement of all aspects of the mineral industry, mineral products and by-products and related industries in Saudi Arabia. In July 2008, Ma’aden offered 50 percent of the company’s shares for subscription in a successful SAR 9.25 billion IPO. Ma’aden has progressed towards realizing its vision of building a world-class mineral enterprise and its mission of being a profitable, publicly owned, international mining company, while maintaining the utmost concern for human resources, health and safety, environmental and social issues.

About Alcoa

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) 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 nine 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 the Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture

In its initial phases, the joint venture will develop a fully integrated industrial complex, including:
  • 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
  • A rolling mill, with initial capacity of 380,000 metric tons per year. The mill will be the first in the Middle East and will be one of the most technically advanced mills in the world.

First commercial production from smelter and mill is scheduled for early 2013. First production from the mine and refinery is set for early 2014. Alcoa will supply alumina to the smelter in the interim period.

Total capital investment in the joint venture is expected to be approximately SAR 40.5 billion ($US 10.8 billion). Ma’aden holds 74.9 percent of the joint venture; Alcoa 25.1 percent with provisions in place to enable an increase to 40 percent.

About Ras Az Zawr

Ras Az Zawr is the location for Ma’aden's minerals industry complex, a 77 square km site, 90km north of Al Jubail on the Arabian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia. In addition to housing the alumina refinery, aluminum smelter and rolling mill for the Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture aluminum industry, it is also the site for Ma’aden Phosphate Company's integrated chemical and fertilizer facility currently near completion. The phosphate complex consists of a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid plant, an ammonia plant, a DAP granulation plant, a co-generation plant and desalination plant, as well as related infrastructure. It will process phosphate concentrate brought by rail from Al Jalamid. This will produce about 2.92 million mtpy of granular DAP, plus approximately 400,000 mtpy of excess ammonia and about 200,000 mtpy of excess phosphoric acid. Ras Az Zawr also has 25 square kilometers of land set aside for industrial expansion and downstream industry.