Alcoa-Ma'aden JV Completes First Wetlands System


Aluminum giant, Alcoa Inc. (AA), and The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) announced the completion of an engineered wetlands wastewater management system in Saudi Arabia at the Ma’aden-Alcoa joint venture project site.

The system is the first-of-its-kind and is expected to reduce water demand by nearly two million U.S. gallons (7.5 million litres) per day and save more than $7 million per year that would otherwise be spent to purchase fresh water.

The technology is designed and engineered by Alcoa and is known as a Natural Engineered Wastewater Treatment system. The unique system collects sanitary and industrial wastewater and cleans and disinfects it without either using chemicals or making water discharge and odors associated with conventional tank systems.

Apart from saving water and money, the innovative design took six months less to be built compared with the conventional tank-based system. The system also eliminates the need of an estimated 1,000 metric tons of steel for piping and tanks.

The waste management system combines the expertise of Ma’aden, its local knowledge and the technological depth along with sustainability leadership of Alcoa. The technology was developed to replicate the physical, chemical and biological processes of natural wetlands.

The project is expected to be fully operational by the end of July and the technology is being considered for other wastewater treatment applications throughout Saudi Arabia.

Alcoa entered into a joint venture with Ma’aden to develop the largest and lowest-cost integrated aluminum facility in the highly populated Middle East region, where infrastructures are provided to keep pace with growing consumer demand. The project leverages efficiencies from integrating the mine, refinery, smelter, and rolling mill, and from low energy costs embedded in a brand new infrastructure environment.

Alcoa, which is among the prominent players in the mining industry along with Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (ACH) and BHP Billiton Limited (BHP), is a world leader with respect to production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina.

Alcoa currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Another company in the mining industry with a favorable Zacks Rank is Atlatsa Resources Corporation (ATL) which retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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