>> At a remote outpost on Saudi Arabia's Gulf Coast, a mega complex of refineries, smelters and casting machines transform dull pink rocks into silver bars of aluminum. At a cost of $10.8 billion, this is already the world's largest integrated aluminum facility. And now it has a new challenge.
Saudi Arabia wants to end an addiction to volatile oil. And to do that, it needs mining on side. Women are normally barred from entering the premises, but Reuters correspondent Katie Paul visited the Ma'aden refinery, Ras Al Kahir, a symbol of Saudi's attempt to diversify it's economy.>> Right behind me you see the chimneys of the refinery where bauxite minerals are brought from the center of the country in Qassim and then shipped over on its own special railway out to the coastal facilities here.
The bauxite minerals are ground up, they go through a chemical process, and are put into a smelter in order to make aluminum in the hopes that it will generate an industrialization process for other sectors in Saudi Arabia. The challenge for this facility is meeting the targets that have been set out in the Vision 2030 plan for economic reforms.
The plan has said that mining in Saudi Arabia will produce 97 billion rials of output by 2020, although it hasn't gone into any more detail as to how that will be accomplished. But they'll need to create many more jobs in order to hit the very ambitious targets that have been set out.
And they're doing that in an environment of low aluminum prices worldwide.>> The sweeping shakeup is intended to change how Saudi's economy and government function to prepare for a future less dependent on oil. Mining had long been neglected, but this could now be its chance to shine.