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April 21, 2011

Ma’aden/Alcoa Joint Venture Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art Rolling Mill

RAS AZ ZAWR, Saudi Arabia & NEW YORK--Ma’aden, the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, and Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced they broke ground on their joint venture state-of-the-art rolling mill in Ras Az Zawr, Saudi Arabia. Upon completion, the rolling mill will be the most cost-efficient in the world serving packaging and flat-rolled products markets in the Middle East and beyond.

The joint venture, which is owned 74.9% by Ma’aden and 25.1% by Alcoa with Alcoa having the right to expand to 40%, will feature the Middle East’s first fully integrated aluminum smelter and food-grade can-sheet rolling mill in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The joint venture also will study further product offerings based on market opportunities and demand. 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 (mtpy);
  • An alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1.8 – 2.0 million mtpy;
  • An aluminum smelter with an initial capacity of 740,000 mtpy;
  • A rolling mill, with initial capacity of 380,000 mtpy.

First commercial production from smelter and mill is scheduled in 2013. First production from the mine and refinery is set for 2014. Alcoa will supply alumina to the smelter in the interim period. Total project cost is expected to be approximately SAR 40.5 billion ($US 10.8 billion).

The rolling mill ground breaking ceremony was attended by Abdullah Al Saif, Chairman of the Board of Ma’aden; Khalid Al-Mudaifer, President and CEO of Ma'aden; Abdullah Busfar, Vice President - Aluminium SBU Ma'aden; Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld; and Helmut Wieser, Alcoa Executive Vice President and Group President of Alcoa Global Rolled Products.

“The project is very well on schedule,” said Ma’aden’s Khalid Al-Mudaifer. "Ma'aden is helping implement technology transfer to the kingdom and putting the foundation of the industry in the country."

“Demand for high-quality rolled aluminum products is strong everywhere in the world – especially here in the Middle East,” said Alcoa’s Klaus Kleinfeld. “The potential for all elements of this project is immense and we are making swift progress to capture the opportunities.”

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 Initial Public Offering. 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 is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of 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 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, 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.