Saudi’s Ma’aden to start bauxite production in mid 2014

11 November 2013 14:21  [Source: ICIS news]

Aluminium productionDUBAI (ICIS)--Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) is likely to start commercial production of bauxite from a new mine located in the northeast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the second quarter of 2014, a senior company official said on Monday.

Ma’aden and US producer Alcoa, as a joint venture, are developing the Al Ba'itha mine with a production capacity of 4m tonnes/year of raw material for a new $10.8bn (€8.0bn) aluminium smelter complex at Ras Al Khair on the Gulf coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Ma’aden owns 74.9% and Alcoa owns 25.1% stakes in the aluminium smelter.

"We are hopeful of commercial production of bauxite to start by the second quarter of 2014," the official added.

The bauxite will be transported by rail from the Al Ba'itha mine to the Ras Al Khair complex.

One of the two potlines at the new aluminium smelter shut due to problems during a ramp-up in production in mid-October this year.

The official said repairs could stretch well into next year and the company has accelerated the ramp-up of the second, unaffected line.

Combined, the two lines will have the capacity to produce 740,000 tonnes/year of aluminium. The rest of the operation - which includes a mine, a refinery and a rolling mill - remains on schedule.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Aamir Ashraf

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