Construction in Saudi mining sector will diversify economy, Minister says

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources says thousands of jobs will be created with construction and investment in mining sector

Ali Al Naimi says that construction and investment into KSA’s mining sector will create diversification in the economy.

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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has said that construction and investment in the Kingdom’s mining sector will create thousands of jobs for citizens of the country, especially in technical jobs.

Speaking during an inspection tour of Ma’aden Company projects in Ras Al Khair City in the Eastern Province, Ali Al Naimi said that the ongoing megaprojects would contribute towards economic diversification.

“These mega projects contribute towards economic diversification, achievement of high returns for shareholders and investors, transfer and localisation of technical professions with high skills. The mining industry constitutes an important basis for the diversity of the economy and the development of new industries based on their outputs,” the Minister said.

During the tour, he was acquainted with the production lines, manufacturing units and vital utilities for the company that form integrated mining industries that the company is developing so as to enable the growth of its mining investments, a report in The Saudi Gazette said.

Also included in the tour was the aluminium smelter, which has an annual capacity of 740,000 metric tons. With production beginning at the end of 2012, the smelter provides manufacturing industries with opportunities in the aluminium sector.

The minister and his delegation also observed the progress of work in the rolling of aluminum sheets belonging to Ma’aden. Its test run began at the end of 2013 in preparation for the start of commercial production in the second quarter of 2014. The production capacity will reach 380,000 tons annually. It is the only factory of its kind in the region, and will be one of the most advanced technologically in the world.

They also saw the ongoing construction operations in the sheets factory necessary for the automobile industry. About 56% of the project has been completed. Production is expected to begin at the end of 2014 with a production capacity of 100,000 tons annually.

Meanwhile, the mining operations in Al-Be’aithah Mine have started as planned. About 4 million tons of bauxite will be transported annually by train from the mine to Ras Al-Khair.

The tour included the alumina refinery. Over 77% of the project has been completed. Its production capacity will reach 1.8 million metric tons annually. Production will begin at the third quarter of 2014.

Al-Naimi and his entourage visited also the phosphate complex and the support utilities. The production capacity for the phosphate project reaches three million tons annually. The tour also included Ras Al-Khair Port that has six wharves for the export of Ma’aden products. The port began work in February 2011. They also saw Ma’aden village residential project in Ras Al-Khair that comprises 2,509 housing units.

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