Alcoa and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) formed a joint venture in 2009 that has created the world’s largest, lowest cost fully integrated aluminum facility. The project includes a bauxite mine situated in central Saudi Arabia, which connects by rail to an integrated facility consisting of an alumina refinery, smelter, and casthouse on the Arabian Gulf coast.
First hot metal was poured in December 2012, and in 2015 the smelter reached full capacity, producing 740,000 mtpy of aluminum.
Bauxite ore from the 4-million-mtpy bauxite mine is refined in the 1.8-million-mtpy alumina refinery, which is designed for expansion and became operational in 2014.
The joint venture also had included a rolling mill, with initial hot mill capacity of 380,000 mtpy. In June 2019, Alcoa amended the joint venture agreement and transferred its 25.1 percent share of the rolling mill to Ma’aden.
An Alcoa-developed Natural Engineered Waste Water Treatment System established at Ma’aden is a first of its kind in Saudi Arabia and will ultimately reduce water demand by nearly 7.5 million liters a day.