Maaden to start production at aluminium smelter

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Maaden will start inintial production at its aluminium smelter next month.

Maaden will start inintial production at its aluminium smelter next month.

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) will start initial production at its aluminium smelter next month.

Maaden and Alcoa teamed up in 2009 to build a US$10.8bn aluminum complex at Ras al-Khair on the Gulf coast, which is fast becoming a Saudi mining centre.

The smelter will have a capacity of 740,000 tonnes per year and production will be ramped up gradually to that level, Maaden said on Wednesday.

In addition, the partners are developing a bauxite mine with the capacity to produce 4m tonnes of the raw material for the plant a year, and a metal rolling mill with a capacity of up to 460,000 tonnes.

The first phase of the project, which includes the smelter and the rolling mill, should be running by 2013, while the mine and a refinery are expected to open in 2014, executives from the two companies have said.

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