Saudi Arabian mining firm Ma’aden has signed memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with US-based companies Alcoa and Mosaic.
These deals were signed at the Saudi-US CEO Forum in Riyadh. Under the MoU, Ma’aden and Alcoa will review the feasibility of a potential expansion of smelting capacity in Saudi Arabia.
The two firms jointly developed a fully integrated high-efficiency aluminum production complex in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City.
The Ma’aden-Alcoa joint venture complex was set-up in 2009 and has made a contribution of around $4bn to Saudi Arabia’s GDP.
The JV supports 3,500 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs.
If the expansion proceeds, primary aluminum capacity could grow by 600,000mt per annum and lead to more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.
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Alcoa holds a 25.1% stake in the Ma’aden-Alcoa joint venture.
With completion of construction of the Ma'aden Wa'ad Al Shammal Phosphate project nearing, Ma’aden and The Mosaic Company signed the MoU, which explores several areas of potential collaboration in the phosphate business in the country.
Mosaic, Ma’aden and their partner SABIC have already invested $8bn in developing the project.
Meanwhile, further to its earlier announcement, Ma’aden is advancing a third project to manufacture phosphate fertilisers in the country.
The project is expected to be implemented in phases, with production starting early in the next decade. It will provide an additional annual three million tonnes of production capacity with a total investment of $6.4bn. The development is subject to completion of definitive studies and gaining necessary board approvals and consents.
It is estimated to bring benefits of about $2.4bn to the country’s GDP as well as employment to around 7,000 people.