Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) is seeking a financial adviser for its second major phosphates project in the kingdom.
Banks have already pitched to the firm for the mandate to work on the financing of the estimated $6bn project to develop a phosphate mine in Umm Wual, in the north of the country.
Sources close to the process say that Maaden has not yet given any indication of when it plans to award the mandate, but banks pitched for the work earlier in April. International banks have been invited to bid for the work in partnership with a local bank.
Maaden is expected to want to start trying to raise financing for the project in late 2013. The project involves the development of a phosphate deposit at Al Khabra that should add 1.5 million tonnes of phosphates to be used to make phosphoric acid.
The company is currently trying to raise around SR7bn ($1.9bn) from local banks to finance its investment in new projects.
In October 2011 the company completed a $3.6bn deal to finance the second phase of its aluminium complex in the kingdom. That deal was arranged by the local Riyad Bank along with UK-based Standard Chartered and was massively oversubscribed, mainly by local banks.
Maaden did not respond to requests to comment.