The Saudi Petroleum and Mineral Resources authorities have announced that the government will spend USD 6.9 billion on preliminary investments to exploit the Al Khabra phosphate deposits, located 40 kilometres northeast of Turaif in the Northern Borders Province. A figure of USD 5.6 billion has been allocated for the development of the phosphate resource and USD 1.2 billion building the infrastructure of the Waad Mining City. Three wharfs will be built in Ras Al-Khair port as part of the project.
Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma’aden has announced that it expects initial production of the project will start in Q4 2016. Saudi joint stock company Ma’aden was established 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. The Sabic-Maaden’s venture has a production capacity of about three million tonnes per year of DAP, the fertilizer that dominates the phosphate trade. Ma’aden is planning downstream production of phosphoric acid, dicalcium phosphate and monocalcium phosphate used in manufacturing animal feed, PPA (pure phosphoric acid) used in food industries, and trisodium polyphosphate used in manufacturing detergents and for industrial purposes. Ma’aden’s phosphate project and the downstream opportunities will create around 2,700 jobs to be added to 22,000 jobs in the Promise of the North City for Mining Industries.