Rio Tinto Alcan pulling out of Ma’aden smelter project

Dec 17, 2008 | 07:50 AM | Tom Jennemann

Rio Tinto Alcan, Montreal, is removing itself as an equity partner in a $10-billion joint-venture aluminum smelter planned for Saudi Arabia because it's unable to finance its 49-percent stake amid the global financial turmoil.

State-owned Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Ma'aden) and Alcan had planned to build the project—an integrated mine-to-metal operation that included bauxite mining, alumina refining, a 2,000-megawatt oil-fired power plant and aluminum smelting—at Az Zawr in eastern Saudi Arabia with an initial output of 750,000 tonnes of aluminum per year. The smelter was officially put on indefinite hold in October. ....

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