Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) plans to build a third phosphate complex at a costs of SR24bn ($6.4bn) by 2024, the company announced in its annual earnings call.

The company, which also has assets producing aluminium, gold and copper, already has one phosphates fertiliser project in operation and one in the execution phase.

Maaden did not reveal any details about the third project but it is likely to begin work on the scheme after the completion of its Waad al-Shamal phosphate complex under construction in the north of the kingdom.

The first plant at Waad al-Shamal, for the production of ammonia, started commercial production on 1 January, the company said.

The group produces phosphates through Maaden Phosphate Company (MPC) – a joint venture of Maaden (70 per cent) and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic). The group mines and processes phosphate rock at Al-Jalamid in the north of the kingdom and produces fertilisers and chemicals at Ras al0Khair on the Gulf coast.

Maaden CEO Khalid al-Mudaifer said that three major projects started production in 2016: the Ad Duwayhi gold mine; the Jabal Sayid copper mine; and the Al-Baitha bauxite mine and alumina refinery at Ras al-Khair.

Meanwhile, the aluminium rolling mill continues to progress toward commercial production, he added.

The company reported a 13 per cent drop in annual revenue in 2016 to SR9.51bn, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 1 per cent to SR3.68bn.