Ma'aden Assessing Major New Phosphate Project
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA March 22, 2010– The Saudi Arabian Mining Company, Ma’aden has announced that it is studying a significant expansion of its phosphate activities involving the exploitation of a second major phosphate resource in the north of Saudi Arabia to supply merchant grade phosphoric acid to the fertilizer, food and animal feed industries. A feasibility study is underway on the project which would mine the Al Khabra deposit in the Umm Wual licence area located 40 kilometres northeast of Turaif. The project envisages an open pit mine and simple beneficiation process adding close to 1.5 million tons annually to Ma’aden’s scheduled phosphate capacity to be marketed locally and internationally by Ma’aden.
“The project would use port, rail and infrastructure developments put in place by the Kingdom’s government to deliver regional development through the expansion of key industries.” commented Khaled Mudaifer, Ma’aden’s VP Phosphates. “The feasibility study currently underway will evaluate the viability of the project to supply highly demanded phosphate intermediate products to augment Ma’aden’s phosphate product mix. It would not be appropriate to suggest a timetable for development however, until after the study is completed.”
The project is based on measured and indicated resources at the Al Khabra mining licence which stand at 234 million metric tons grading at 17% to 19% P2O5. There is very low heavy metals content, ensuring that the phosphoric acid will be of the highest quality and could be used for the food and feed industries. The Umm Wual licence area contains further JORC compliant indicated and inferred resources of 446 million tons as well as significant further resource potential. Ma’aden is continuing exploration activities in the area to expand the resource.
“The progress of the Umm Wual Al Khabra project, our second phosphate initiative, demonstrates that Ma’aden and Saudi Arabia are becoming major contributors to the global phosphate industry and that our desert kingdom will help to feed the world in years to come.” added Dr Abdullah Dabbagh, Ma’aden’s President and CEO. “The projects help fulfil Ma’aden’s commitment to develop the mineral wealth of the kingdom and become a catalyst for downstream industries.”
Ma’aden’s existing phosphate joint venture with SABIC, Ma’aden Phosphate Company (MPC), which includes a mine and beneficiation site at Al Jalamid and processing plants at Ras Az Zawr is scheduled to begin production later this year and at the end of February was 92.14% complete. When in full production MPC will produce 2.92 million tons per year of Diammonium Phosphate Fertilizer (DAP) for export to markets including the nearby high growth markets of Asia.
Ma'aden was established as a Saudi Arabian joint stock company in March 1997 to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabia’s non-petroleum mineral resources and to diversify the Kingdom’s economy away from the petroleum and petrochemical sectors. Ma’aden is engaged in the development, advancement and improvement of all aspects of the mineral industry, mineral products and by-products and related industries in Saudi Arabia. In July 2008 Ma’aden offered 50% of the company’s shares for subscription in a successful SR 9.25 billion IPO. Ma’aden has progressed towards realizing its vision of building a world class mineral enterprise and its mission of being a profitable, publicly owned, international mining company, while maintaining the utmost concern for human resources, health and safety, environmental and social issues.
Ma'aden is engaged in the development, advancement and improvement of all aspects of the mineral industry, mineral products and by-products and related industries in Saudi Arabia. The company is committed to the best international and local standards in environmental regulations and values its role in Corporate Social Responsibility.
Ma'aden has progressed towards realizing its vision of building a world class mineral enterprise and its mission of being a profitable, publicly owned, international mining company, while maintaining the utmost concern for human resources, health, safety, environmental and social issues.
Ma'aden Corporate Communications Department
T: +966 (0) 874-8045
For further information please contact:
Mr. Bander M. Al-Aida
Section Head, Media Relations
Section Head, Media Relations