Saudi Arabia’s National Industrialisation Company (Tasnee) has still not began a feasibility study on its proposed $1bn copper, lead and zinc smelter project at Yanbu on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.

The project, which was planned to aid the kingdom’s industrial diversification plans, has been at the pre-feasibility phase since mid-2010, but there are still no plans in place to develop the project.

“We have made a number of inquiries regarding this project, but have been told that it is not moving at the moment,” says a contracting source based in the kingdom. “We are not sure of the reasons because there is definite scope to develop this project at Yanbu and we believe it would be able to sell most, if not all, of its production in-kingdom.”

MEED reported in 2010 that Tasnee was carrying out a banking feasibility. (13:3:2011).

If the project does go ahead it will produce 300,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of metals split equally between copper, lead and zinc with an option to double the copper capacity as part of a future phase.

Tasnee was not available for comment when contacted by MEED.

Tasnee is a joint stock company listed on the Saudi Arabian stock exchange. It is the second largest industrial and petrochemical company among the list of top 100 Saudi Arabian companies.