Saudi Rafd Al-Nahhas and Glencore Launch a Major Copper Smelting Project

Saudi Rafd Al-Nahhas and Glencore Launch a Major Copper Smelting Project

The Saudi Rafd Copper Industrial Company has entered into an engineering works agreement and a technology licensing agreement with Glencore Purification Company. This agreement, signed on the sidelines of the Mining Conference, marks the initiation of a copper smelting and purification project of significant scale.

The project boasts a production capacity of 400 thousand tons annually of cathodic copper plates, with a purity level of up to 99.99%. The total cost of this endeavor is estimated at around 5.5 billion Saudi riyals (approximately 1.5 billion US dollars), making it the first smelter of its kind in the Middle East.

The agreement was signed by Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Baz, Managing Director and CEO of the Rafd Al-Nahhas Industrial Company, in the presence of Ahmed bin Saad Al-Kreidis, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Abdullah bin Odeh Al-Ghabin, Vice Chairman of the Board. This agreement follows a previous general agreement with Glencore, encompassing technology licensing, operational expertise, and raw material supply for the smelter.

The factory will source raw copper and copper concentrates from both local and international mines to produce high-purity copper cathodic plates. These plates are crucial for various industries within the Kingdom that utilize copper as a primary raw material, such as cable, wire, electrical transformer, and cooling pipe manufacturing.

Acquisition and Vision 2030 Alignment

Additionally, the company signed an agreement for the Rasanah Financial Fund to acquire a 60% stake in its shares. This project aligns with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, focusing on the optimal utilization of natural resources and value chain integration from mine to final product.

The copper smelter project is expected to create 1,000 direct jobs and 2,500 indirect jobs, significantly contributing to the local economy. It aims to cover about 70% of the local demand in its first phase, reducing reliance on foreign imports and supporting local industries. This initiative is projected to positively influence the Kingdom’s economy and enhance its gross domestic product.

Construction of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2027, with production commencing at the beginning of 2028. icon

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