Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) will start initial production at its aluminum smelter next month.
Maaden and Alcoa teamed up in 2009 to build a $10.8 billion aluminum complex at Ras al-Khair on the Gulf coast, which is fast becoming a Saudi mining center.
The smelter will have a capacity of 740,000 tons per year and production will be ramped up gradually to that level, Maaden said.
In addition, the partners are developing a bauxite mine with the capacity to produce 4 million tons of the raw material for the plant a year, and a metal rolling mill with a capacity of up to 460,000 tons.
The first phase of the project, which includes the smelter and the rolling mill, should be running by 2013, while the mine and a refinery are expected to open in 2014, executives from the two companies have said.