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.