During the past decade, primary, midstream and downstream mineral and metals industry grew substantially in Saudi Arabia. This growth, which is attributed to the Saudi competitive landscape and the large local demand, came in different forms such as capacity expansion, development of new metal products, downstream and upstream integration and also growth in production capacities. Below are highlights of some of the recent developments. A fully integrated aluminum project was established in 2014. The project, which is a joint venture between Ma’aden and Alcoa, has an annual production capacity of (760) thousand tons. The project includes bauxite mining, alumina production, and primary aluminum production, in addition the production of (340) thousand tons of beverage can, automotive and commercial grades sheet. A phosphate based fertilizer complex was established by Ma’aden Phosphate Company (MPC) in 2011 in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. This complex includes phosphate mining, production of (3) million ton of Diammonium Phosphate and (400) thousand tons of ammonia. Building on the success of this fertilizer complex, Ma’aden has recently expanded its phosphate operations through a building a second integrated fertilizer complex in Wa’ad Al Shamal Industrial City with a (16) Million total annual production capacity that include phosphate mining, production of sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, ammonia, dicalcium and monocalcium phosphate, purified phosphoric acid, sodium tripolyphosphate and phosphate based fertilizers.
The titanium value chain is one of the strategic industries that the Kingdom is developing. Cristal Global, an international Saudi based company and a major producer of titanium dioxide, has recently expanded into titanium slag, the feedstock for titanium dioxide. Additionally, Cristal Global is also developing manufacturing plants in the Kingdom for the production of titanium sponge and titanium metal products. The Saudi Steel production capacity has doubled over the last decade driven by the local demand and competitive cost structure. Today, Saudi Arabia has more than (12) million tons of primary steel capacity and more than (20) million tons of semi-finished and finished steel capacity such as seamless pipe, hot rolled products and rebar. Despite the absence of copper midstream industry (smelter), the copper downstream industry is well established in Saudi Arabia in the form of wire and cable.