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August 10, 2011

Ma’aden and Alcoa Mark Double Project Milestones

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia--Senior executives from Ma’aden and Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today joined project teams at Ras Al Khair in Saudi Arabia to commemorate two major landmarks in the construction of their $10.8 billion integrated aluminum joint venture.

The day’s initial ceremony took place as the team poured first concrete for the project’s state-of-the-art-rolling mill. With an initial capacity of 380,000 tons per year, the rolling mill will be one of the most technically advanced in the world and the only one in the Gulf region capable of producing food grade can sheet which has many applications including the manufacture of beverage cans.

The second landmark ceremony saw the official ground breaking for the project’s alumina refinery which will have an initial capacity of 1.8 million metric tons per year. The Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture will be the region’s only aluminum operation with a captive supply of alumina. The bauxite that will be refined into alumina will be transported by rail from the project’s 4-million-ton-per-year mine at Al Ba’aitha.

“To reach two such major landmarks in one day illustrates the focused and collaborative approach of the project team and we all congratulate them on this noteworthy achievement,” commented Engr. Khalid Al Mudaifer, Ma’aden’s President and CEO.

“When operational, as well as creating excellent shareholder value, this project will create a platform for numerous new industries in the Kingdom, creating tens of thousands of employment opportunities over and above those in the operations themselves.” commented by Engr. Abdullah Busfar, Ma’aden Vice President & Board Chairman of Ma’aden Aluminium Company after the ceremonies at Ras Al Khair.

“These are significant milestones in the development of the first fully integrated aluminum complex,” said Ken Wisnoski, president of Alcoa’s Global Primary Products Growth business. “These achievements represent the disciplined execution of our project schedule and budget.”

The project’s rolling mill and smelter constitute the first phase of the project, due to become operational in 2013 while the mine and refinery as the second phase will come on stream in 2014. The interim supply of alumina will be furnished by Alcoa.

About the Ma’aden-Alcoa joint venture

In its initial phases, the joint venture will develop a fully integrated industrial complex that 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 comprises:
  • A bauxite mine with an initial capacity of 4 million metric tons per year;
  • An alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1.8 million metric tons per year;
  • An aluminum smelter with an initial capacity of 740,000 metric tons per year; and
  • A rolling mill, with initial capacity of 380,000 metric tons per year. The mill will be one of the most technically advanced mills in the world and the only one in the Gulf region capable of producing food grade can sheet


First commercial production from the smelter and mill is scheduled for 2013, followed by first commercial production of alumina from the mine and refinery complex, scheduled for 2014. Alcoa will supply alumina to the smelter in the interim period.

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 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 www.alcoa.com.