Ma’aden, the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, and Alcoa poured first concrete for the Middle East’s first fully integrated aluminum smelter and food-grade can-sheet rolling mill, at Raz as Zawr in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. First production from the smelter and rolling mill is scheduled for early 2013. Initially, the smelter will produce 740,000 metric tons of primary metal. The rolling mill will initially produce 380,000 metric tons of food-grade can sheet. Both are designed for significant expansion. Total capital investment in the joint venture is expected to be approximately $10.8 billion. Ma’aden holds 74.9% of the joint venture, and Alcoa holds 25.1% with provisions in place to enable an increase to 40%.

In addition to the smelter and rolling mill, the second phase of the joint venture will include a bauxite mine with an initial capacity of 4 million metric tons per year and an alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1.8 million metric tons per year. First production for mine and refinery is scheduled for early 2014. Alcoa will provide alumina feedstock for the smelter in the interim.