Saudi Arabia is undergoing a major transformation in its
development of natural resources. Diversification of its
economic base has been an important objective for the oil-rich
nation towards achieving its goal of sustainable development.
Saudi Arabia has recognised the importance of the minerals and
mining sector, with special emphasis on industrial
There are enormous tapped and untapped industrial minerals
resources in the country which could contribute to the
countrys revenue and provide a strong base for
Domestic and overseas interest in the mineral potential of
Saudi Arabia is growing, as evidenced by a recent workshop
attracting the likes of Imerys, Carmeuse, Dorfner, Hosokawa,
and Outotec (see later).
In essence, the Saudi government foresaw the consequences of
depending on finite oil resources which can be influenced by
the worlds geopolitical issues and unstable international
energy markets. Thus diversification became a major part of the
5th, 6th, 7th and
8th Development Plans (the 8th over the
The target for growth of the mining sector during the 8th
Development Plan is 7.9%, with $11,900m. forecast for mining
expenditure to 2020. A new Mining Code introduced in 2004 also
facilitated a more attractive climate to foreign investment in
the minerals sector.
| Sameer Mousa Idres, Assistant Project Manager,
UMIC, demonstrates a sample of Farasan marble finished
product for local FGD application.
Saudi Arabias industrial minerals industry is composed
of many small and medium sized operations producing
construction materials (eg. marble, granite, limestone,
basalt), including raw material for cement and red bricks, and
dimension stone. Other operations produce minerals for ceramics
and glass, salt is also produced and sulphur as a by-product of
oil refining (see table).
There are several large scale producers, such as: Adwan
Chemical Industries Co. Ltd (200,000 tpa silica sand), Saudi
Carbonate Co. Ltd (200,000 tpa GCC), Saudi Sand Lime Bricks
& Building M.Co. (215,000 tpa lime, 40,000 tpa hydrated
lime, 120,000 tpa GCC and dolomite), and, more recently, UMIC
(480,000 tpa marble, see panel).
There are also captive producers of minerals. Saudi Ceramic
Co., for example, owns mines and plants producing kaolin,
feldspar, and silica. Omar Yassin Sheik Al-Deen, raw materials
manager, Saudi Ceramic Co. told IM: We
soon plan to start exporting milled silica.
Construction, glass, and ceramics remain established and
important markets for the countrys minerals. Driven by
strong demand, the cement industry had an installed capacity of
38m. tonnes in 2007, up 46% over 2006, and the industry plans
to nearly double capacity to 70m. tonnes by 2013. Mineral wool
is also produced in Saudi Arabia, about 39,000 tonnes in 2005,
which consumes basalt and limestone.
While these established suppliers and markets remain
important to the domestic industry, it is clear that Saudi
Arabia is aiming to develop key industrial mineral deposits for
domestic and export markets, and in particular, targeting added
value grades for more sophisticated mineral consuming
With regard to filler minerals, for example, Gulf
Cooperation Council countries have seen a massive growth in
polymer production in recent years which is expected to
continue. Polyethylene production in the region is expected to
grow by more than 150% to 2011, while polypropylene (PP)
capacity is forecast to increase >400% over the same period.
Saudi Arabia is the regions dominant player, with a new
175,000 tpa plastic compounding facility, and two PP plants
(700,000 tpa combined) being constructed at Rabigh.
While there appears to be no definitive list of potential
industrial mineral resources identified as being commercially
viable, a variety of sources point towards a veritable treasure
trove of hot prospects, including: barytes, bauxite, bentonite,
dolomite, feldspar, fluorspar, garnet, graphite, gypsum,
kaolin, limestone, magnesite, mica, nepheline syenite, olivine,
phosphate, rare earths, refractory clays, silica sand,
sillimanite, and zeolites.
In 1997, the Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) was
established to drive private investment in the mining sector,
and in 2008 50% of the company was privatised. Two primary
ongoing projects under Maaden include its Phosphate
Project at Al Jalamid (a j-v with SABIC aiming at 5m. tpa
phosrock concentrate and 200,000 tpa phosphoric acid) and
Aluminium Project at Az Zabirah (4m. tpa bauxite targeted) and
Ras Az Zawr (1.8m. tpa alumina plant at Jubail planned).
Infrastructure development is key to boosting the mining
sector in Saudi Arabia, and is critical to Maadens
two main projects. Plans have been implemented for a new
1,408km northeastern railway line to link Riyadh with the
mineral rich northern region including Al Jalamid, Qassim,
Hail, and Al Jawf. The main line will be connected with branch
lines to join Az Zabirah and Jubail. A new port is also to be
constructed at Ras Az Zawr, 80km north-east of Jubail.
Other Maaden projects include the Zarghat magnesite
deposit, and kaolin (50,000 tpa) and low grade
bauxite (250,000 tpa cement grade) at Az Zabirah.
However, Maaden has been unable to comment on the status
of these developments, which are understood to remain at early
stages of development. Maaden interests also include
refractory clays, sillimanite, graphite, bentonite,
attapulgite, diatomite, silica, garnet, wollastonite, and
Elsewhere, United Mining Investments Co. (UMIC) is actively
pursuing GCC, PCC, feldspar, and quartz projects (see
p.37). Tertiary Minerals Plc is evaluating the Ghurayyah
rare minerals deposit, containing tantalum, niobium, rare
earths, zirconium, and yttrium. The project is being funded
jointly by Tertiary (Middle East) Ltd together with a
consortium of Saudi investors (AH Algosaibi Bros. Co. and Al
Nahla Trading & Contracting Co.).
Earlier this year, US fused minerals producer, Washington
Mills Electro Minerals Corp. started sounding out the potential
of a 24,000 tpa silicon carbide plant at Jubail, as part of a
joint venture with local investor Ahmad H. Algosaibi &
Brothers Co. and Japans Sumitomo Corp. Inc.
Potential areas highlighted by the Saudi Geological Survey
(SGS) for large scale enterprises investing in
Saudi Arabias minerals sector include the manufacturing
of silica based products such as resin-coated sand (foundry
sand), frac sand (oil and gas drilling), fumed silica, and
Other key investment targets include micronising
limestone/marble/dolomite for filler applications, and
processing feldspar and kaolin for value added markets. Certain
high alumina clays are also being looked at as a possible
alternative feedstock for brown fused alumina production.
Strategically, new sources of rare earths, frac sand,
barytes, bauxite, phosphate, and magnesite, would be welcomed
by world, as well as regional Middle East markets.
As part of the drive to highlight Saudi Arabias
minerals development and potential, the SGS, in collaboration
with the Deputy Ministry of Mineral Resources (DMMR) and the
Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) organised a
special workshop in Jeddah on 9 March 2009: Workshop
Investment Opportunities in Saudi Industrial Minerals.
The workshop took place on the eve of the 8th
Meeting of the Saudi Society for Geosciences, also in Jeddah,
9-12 March and was attended by around 80 delegates, of which 30
were from overseas.
Opening the workshop at the lecture hall of the SGS Jeddah
office, Dr Zohair Nawab, president of the SGS, welcomed
delegates and reinforced the importance of industrial minerals
development as part of the countrys policy to diversify
its natural resource programme.
The day progressed with eleven presentations from leading
experts covering Saudi industrial minerals investment,
exploitation, and potential, limestone, processing of silica
sand, co-operation with Malaysia, innovations in comminution,
Egyptian minerals, and the outlook for silica.
A vibrant and informative discussion period followed most
papers, which continued among delegates during the coffee
breaks in the limited exhibition outside the auditorium.
The workshop keynote address by Mike
ODriscoll, Editor IM, UK, was entitled
Global trends in the industrial minerals industry:
opportunities and challenges. The presentation set the
scene by outlining the fundamentals of the business and some of
the main issues facing the industry, these include: regulation,
globalisation, China, strategic focusing, environment, economic
recession, and emerging markets. The author then highlighted
how these trends could lead to market opportunities, and in
particular, how they could benefit the development Saudi
Mohammad Al Muallem, Assistant Deputy
Minister Mining Investments, DMMR and Nabeel
Ekram, Director of Mining Investments, DMMR, Saudi
Arabia, presented Status and development of mining
investment and its role in the national economy. The
paper detailed the role of the DMMR and its implementation of
the new Mining Investment Law over the past five years:
[the new law] gave investors more transparency in terms
of exploration and exploitation rights and also gave local and
foreign investors streamlined procedures and financial
During 1995-2007, the number of mining licences were claimed
to have increased by 100%, and by the end of 2007, the number
of active mining licenses amounted to 1,314 covering an area of
Another role of the DMMR is the reservation of mining areas
for mining rights for investors. This was covered in the paper
by Hamza Badawi, senior geologist, director of
Concessions Department, and Ahmed Fagih,
engineer, director of Technical Projects Unit, DMMR, Saudi
Arabia, in their paper The role of reserving mineral
deposits for mining investment in the development of the
mineral resource sector.
The presentation focused on how mining areas were
identified, based on criteria such as raw material
availability, proximity to urban and agricultural areas, and
the environment. These included prospects for magnesite,
limestone, silica sand, granite, marble, pozzolans, and
Chris Spencer, independent minerals
consultant, UK, provided an interesting review of industrial
minerals exploration in Saudi Arabia in his paper A brief
history of industrial minerals exploration in Saudi
Arabia. Exploration began in the mid-1960s, and was low
key, focusing on construction materials near Riyadh, Jeddah,
and Dharhran. It stepped up during the mid-1970s-mid-1980s,
targeting big deposits at Zarghat, Zabirah, and
Turayf. By 2002, with the departure of the BRGM of France, and
the USGS, the SGS was created.
The National Mineral Policy 2, recently launched in
Malaysia, and how lessons learned from its implementation could
assist Saudi Arabia, was just one of the topics of
Collaboration between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia in
mineral resource development by Dr Mohammed Ajib
Anuar, president, and Muhamad Nor
Muhamad, executive director of the Malaysian Chamber
of Mines, Malaysia.
Similarities between the two countries development of
limestone and dimension was discussed, and how in Malaysia the
success of rehabilitation of former mining areas into other
forms of economic activities might also benefit Saudi
Limestone as aggregate, FGD material, or GCC for plastics is
an important resource of Saudi Arabia. The subject of high
purity limestone was the theme for Clive
Mitchell, industrial minerals specialist, British
Geological Survey, UK, in his paper High purity limestone
assessment: from mine to market.
Mitchell started by defining high purity limestone and its
key markets before going on to describe exploration
methodology, using the BGSs practice as an example. BGS
reconnaissance surveys employ screening criteria for quality
definition, the chief criterion in this case being
CaCO3 content: >98.5% very high purity; 97-98.5%,
high purity; 93.5-97.0% medium purity; 85.0-93.5% low purity;
and <85%, impure.
The BGS has recently added magnesia, silica, and iron oxide
compositions as further quality criteria as well as the use of
portable XRF analysers. Mitchell also provided a re-assessment
of Saudi limestone deposits based on the BGS purity
There is much interest in evaluating and developing the
regions silica deposits, so much so that there is a
Silica Arabia 09 Workshop on 26 October 2009, as part of the
MENA Mining Congress 2009. Not surprisingly, the Jeddah
workshop had two papers dedicated to silica.
Dietmar Alber, general manager, Mineral and
Metal Division, Hosokawa Alpine AG, Germany, reviewed recent
innovations in silica sand processing in his paper Dry
and wet micronisation of silica sand down to the nano
range. Dry processing of silica sand was described using
a ball mill in combination with screening and a two stage
classification. The requirements of the ceramic market include
very steep particle size distributions which include for coarse
sizes a D97=45-75μ (eg. for ceramic bodies) , and the fine
sizes with a top cut of D97=10-20μ (eg. for glazes).
However, although dry processing can achieve powders down to
D50=1μ, only wet processing can achieve the finer sizes of
D50=200-400 nanometres (eg. for IT applications).
Mian Habib, advisor, industrial minerals,
Saudi Geological Survey, Saudi Arabia, switched the silica
theme from processing to market applications with this paper
Silica: todays raw material for tomorrows
high tech industrial products. Habib described how
conventional exploitation of silica sand in Saudi Arabia had
been for only the glass and construction industries. But with
the implementation of improved processing, silica and quartz
deposits could be mined for a range of market applications.
Habib said: Relatively high purity quartz combined
with the favourable infrastructural conditions is viable for
commercial production and attracting investments in the
country. Examples included relatively pure
quartz of (98.5-99.0% SiO2) potential for
silicon metal production, and the manufacture of photovoltaic
and semiconductor wafers. Quartz could also be further purified
for use in high quality optical applications, halogen lamps,
and in optical fibres.
Rubén Segovia, business developer, selFrag AG,
Switzerland, presented Application of pulsed high voltage
discharges in comminution: new horizons in mineral
processing. Segovia outlined several advantages of this
method of grinding, including: selective fragmentation,
complete liberation of minerals, reduction of work index of
treated rocks, minimal production of fines, low contamination,
and minimal maintenance. Segovia described the two selFrag
lines of such systems, one for batch processes and one for
In their paper Recent advancements in mineral
processing, by Jim Sadowski, director
Technical Services, and Peter Dunn, business
development director, Minerals Processing, Physical Separation,
Outotec (USA) Inc., USA, developments in processing quartz and
feldspar were examined.
Advancements in dry tribelectrostatic separation were shown
to have allowed for a more stable and effective separation of
quartz and feldspar using only a fraction of the amount of
hydrofluoric acid used in the conventional froth flotation
method with an amine collector, and in a very controlled
environment. The paper also discussed test work conducted on a
sample of quartz/feldspar from Saudi Arabia.
Some interesting light was shed on work being conducted on
some Egyptian minerals. Prof. Dr Nagui
Abdel-Khalek, chairman of the Minerals Technology
Dept., Central Metallurgical Research & Development
Institute (CMRDI), Egypt, reviewed how Egyptian ores of kaolin,
feldspar, albite, and nepheline syenite were of such low grade
that they required beneficiation in order to meet ceramic
market requirements. Dr Abdel-Khalek described the efforts of
the CMRDI to produce such added value minerals in Egypt.
Continuing the Egyptian theme, Mohammed
Naiem, geology and research manager, ASCOM, Egypt,
highlighted the activities and business of ASEC Co. for Mining
(ASCOM). ASCOM historically specialised in offering geological
and mining solutions to the cement industry, but has since
expanded into building materials, and manufacturing operations
for ground calcium carbonate, and mineral and glass wool.
Our gratitude is expressed to Mian Habib and colleagues at
the SGS for their kind invitation to the author to attend and
present at the workshop, and also in arranging the field trip
to UMICs limestone operation at Rabigh. Special thanks to
Sameer Mousa Idreas and colleagues at UMIC for their time and
hospitality in hosting the author at Rabigh.
Saudi geology & industrial minerals
Saudi Arabia occupies an area of more than 2m.km2
and its rocks range in age from the Precambrian to the present
day. The country is divided geologically into four distinct and
1. The Proterozoic Arabian Shield, comprising metamorphosed
volcano sedimentary successions intruded by granite and
2. The Phanerozoic Arabian platform of clastic, calcareous,
and evaporitic successions dipping gently eastward away from
3. The Tertiary harrats (extensive basalt
plateaus) mainly overlying the Shield.
4. The narrow Red Sea coastal plain of Tertiary and
Quaternary sedimentary rocks and coral reefs.
Precious and industrial metals have been mined in Saudi
Arabia for at least 5,000 years. The Precambrian rocks contain
most of Saudi Arabias known metallic deposits of gold,
silver, copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium. The Phanerozoic
cover contains the oil resources and deposits of bauxite,
phosphate, clay, limestone, silica sand, and lightweight
aggregate that are becoming of increasing importance to the
industrial development of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia industrial minerals production, trade
& consumption (tonnes)
1 2006 estimates; 2 2007 data;
3 2009 estimate
||81,8003; 35,000 for mineral wool1
||80,5003; 64% ceramics, 28% glass1
||1m.3; 93% glass, 4% ceramics1
Source: SGS; DMMR
Pursuing silica markets
One of the primary minerals being pushed for development in
Saudi Arabia is silica sand and quartz. There are a number of
important deposits which are attracting interest (see
Saudi silica scene, IM December 08,
p.61). Established producers, which have largely focused
on supplying the traditional construction and glass markets,
are now investing in plant and equipment to produce more
sophisticated grades. One of these is Al-Doghom General
Contracting Co., at Riyadh.
For 30 years, Al-Doghom General Contracting Co. has been one
of the leading suppliers of silica sand to glass plants in
Riyadh, Jubail, and Jeddah. Other markets include ready mixed
cement, ceramic tiles, and adhesives. The company also exports
to Oman, Kuwait, and Abu Dhabi.
However, it has only been in the last two years that
Al-Doghom has been producing silica powder from its new plant
in Riyadh, utilising grinding equipment supplied by Hosokawa
Alpine AG, Germany.
The plant uses eight units of grizzly screens (1,500mm x
6,000mm) at three different levels, producing 750 tpd of the
coarser 3mm grade, and 750-1,500 tpd of 1mm grade material.
Ariel Julve, plant production manager, at Al-Doghom told
IM: We are now producing various sizes
of silica sand, such as: 0.0mm-1mm, 0.0mm-1.5mm, 0.0mm-2mm,
0.0mm-3mm, and our coarser grade is from 0.0mm-4mm. We are also
producing selected sizes of silica sand for water treatment and
for special applications.
Since silica sand is its major raw material, Al-Doghom has
expanded its efforts to produce silica powder which is in
demand for special applications such as in paints and
adhesives. We can produce silica powder from 25-180
microns. said Julve.
The grinding mill is 4,000mm x 2,700mm and can produce 7 tph
98% 100 micron grades and 2 tph 96% 63 micron grades. Our
silica powder product is iron free, because our grinding mill
has coated grinding bricks made from 92% alumina, and we use
ceramic grinding media also made from 92% alumina. The
classifier is the most important machine ever installed in this
plant for programming desired sizes. said Julve.
At present, like other producers, Al-Doghom is suffering the
effects of the economic slowdown, and competition in Saudi
Arabias silica market is fierce. Julve commented:
At some [consumer] factories they are managing to change
their raw material requirements in order to have a lower cost
of materials. For some glass plants they are looking for 99.4%
SiO2, with lower than 0.03% for
Fe2O3. But in my own experience, the
average % of silica is in the 98.8-99.00% range. It depends on
the location and dip of your quarry.
Julve is assessing the potential of pursuing other product
options including magnesium silicate and silica for sand paper.
Above all, he is clearly keen to exploit the industrial mineral
wealth of his country. My view is to keep producing
silica sand no matter how many competitors you have at your
side. But not only silica sand, but also all kinds of minerals
that what we have in Saudi Arabia. The main challenge is to
keep producing a good quality product made from minerals not
only for Saudi Arabia but also for GCC [Gulf Cooperation
Council] capitals. Julve explained.
United Mining Investments Co.
The timing and strategy of one of Saudi Arabias
newcomers to the minerals sector appears most apposite. United
Mining Investments Co. (UMIC) is a Saudi Arabian private
company founded in 2004 by a group of distinguished
businessmen and technocrats to pursue opportunities in
the non-oil natural resources sector.
The companys goal is: To develop cost-effective
import substitutes for its Saudi Arabian customers and to
supply customers in neighbouring countries.
Based in Jeddah, UMIC operates several industrial mineral
mining and processing projects, including the mining of
limestone and marble. UMIC supplies customers in Saudi Arabia
and plans to supply customers in the United Arab Emirates,
Kuwait, Italy, and Spain.
Mining Licences have been awarded for feldspar, quartz, and
andesite deposits. UMIC plans to commence mining operations in
these areas in the near future.
UMIC has identified several added value industrial mineral
products required by the market, many of which are currently
The product range that UMIC is planning to supply to the
market includes: crushed lime, marble and feldspar; ground
calcium carbonate (GCC); precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC);
finely ground (micronised) feldspar; and quartz.
| Dr Zohair Nawab, president of the Saudi
Geological Survey, opens the Workshop Investment
Opportunities in Saudi Industrial Minerals, 9 March 2009,
in Jeddah. Courtesy SGS.
Marble Farasan Project
The Farasan Project is located close to King Abdullah
Economic City, about 120km north of Jeddah, some 40km from the
Red Sea coast, in Makkah province. The Jeddah-Yanbu Highway is
about 20km from the Project.
After preliminary geological studies, which included
sampling and laboratory analysis, UMIC successfully applied for
several Mining Licences in the area. UMIC is now mining marble
from two of its Mining Licence areas.
The marble is selectively mined by conventional open pit
methods, using drilling and blasting. The crude ore is
processed in a crusher complex to aggregate, to <22mm, at a
rate of about 40,000 tpm.
The chief customer of Farasan marble is Rabigh Arabian Water
& Electricity Co. (RAWEC) which uses the marble aggregate
for flue gas desulphurisation (FGD). The marble is used in the
FGD unit at RAWECs oil-fired cogeneration and
desalination plant at the PetroRabigh Complex, one of the
worlds largest integrated petrochemicals complexes,
operated by RAWEC on behalf of ARAMCO. The total output of the
RAWEC plant, which is about 40km from Farasan, is 600MW and
8,000 tph of desalinated water. RAWEC consumes about 200,000
tpa marble for FGD, although this may increase to 500,000
UMIC has a strict quality control system, using a mine site
laboratory for daily testing of CaCO3, MgO, and
SiO2 content to ensure meeting specifications set by
One of the challenges for UMIC is to be able to supply a low
silica marble to RAWEC, since high silica (eg. >4%
SiO2) is found to be too abrasive for the $1m. pumps
used at the FGD plant. These would typically last for about
four years using a low silica calcium carbonate material, but
some high silica grades from Farasan have resulted in a mere
six month lifetime for some of the pumps, and both supplier and
consumer wish to improve on this. Therefore UMIC is seeking to
open up another part of its deposit to exploit lower silica
Farasan marble aggregate is also used in the production of
terrazzo tiles by local tile manufacturers, and laboratory
testing of the finer aggregate material indicates that it is
suitable for use in paint.
UMICs Feldspar Project is located in the southern part
of Saudi Arabia, about 550km south-east of Jeddah and 200km
north-west of Abha, in Asir province. The project area is
accessible via the Jeddah-Jizan Highway.
UMIC holds an exploration license that covers an area of
about 80km2. Over a period of about two years, UMIC
has undertaken extensive and detailed evaluation studies which
have concluded that the licence contains a numbers of ore
bodies with good potential for commercial exploitation.
The feldspar ore is in the form of pegmatite veins, which
were formed from a residual solution of granitic magma that
contained large, euhedral feldspar crystals. The pegmatite will
be mined by conventional open pit method and then removed and
transported to feedstocks for the on-site processing plant.
The mine site facility is able to produce basic crushed
feldspar of varying mineralogical characteristics and particle
sizes. UMIC will adhere to strict selective mining methods in
order to meet the demands of the glass, ceramic, and porcelain
The processing plant includes the separate collection of
agglomerates, to minimise the free silica and iron in the
material that is processed to produce the finished product.
Magnetic pulleys are incorporated in the design, to eradicate
metallic iron. Additional magnetic separation will be used in
all product streams, to further beneficiate the product. The
processing plant crushing units are titanium carbide lined, in
order to minimise iron contamination. A comprehensive dust
collection system will protect the local and working
environments and also ensure mica and fines free
| Clive Mitchell, BGS, discussing the quality of
some core samples at Farasan.
UMICs Quartz Projects are located in Asir province, in
the south-west part of Saudi Arabia, where two hydrothermal
quartz deposits are licensed for mining by UMIC. One is about
510km south-east of Jeddah and 360km north-east of Jazan. The
second is about 150km from Abha, and 350km from Jazan.
Preliminary exploration work and laboratory in collaboration
with the SGS indicated that the deposits are of a hydrothermal
origin, of a rip type, with fluids rich in silica. The deposits
have significant reserves of quartz with >99%
A detailed exploration program, including core drilling,
will be undertaken to accurately determine the geometry of the
deposits and to confirm the consistency of the quality of the
contained quartz. The results of the exploration program will
allow the calculation of the minable reserves and to develop a
plan for the optimum mining of the deposits.
UMIC is undertaking a feasibility study on the mining and
ore processing operations for producing basic crushed quartz.
Owing to its high quality, the basic crushed quartz is suitable
for further processing. When market demand is confirmed, UMIC
will install the additional equipment required for high-density
attrition scrubbing of the basic crushed material.
The further processed product is high grade raw
SiO2, which can be used for the manufacturing of
high value intermediate and final industrial products for
high-tech industries such as: high purity (99.99% silica) for
producing metallurgical, chemical and electronic grade silicon,
polycrystalline quartz for semiconductors (silicon chip), and
photovoltaic cells(solar cells).
| The crude marble at Farasan is processed in a
crusher complex to aggregate, to <22mm, at a rate of
about 40,000 tpm. The chief customer of Farasan marble is
Rabigh Arabian Water & Electricity Co. (RAWEC) which
uses the marble aggregate for flue gas desulphurisation
Calcium Carbonate Project
The Calcium Carbonate Project is a planned processing plant,
to be located in the Yanbu Industrial City, Madinah province.
Yanbu is in the west of Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea Coast,
about 400km north of Jeddah.
The plant will process marble and limestone mined and
initially processed by UMIC from several different deposits.
Preliminary field exploration work, mapping, sampling and
drilling have been undertaken on the deposits. The results were
utilised to prepare a feasibility study, which included mine
planning, plant design and recommended output products. The
plant is aiming to produce ground calcium carbonate (GCC) and
precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC).