Government of Quebec

Government of Quebec

June 22, 2012 15:10 ET

Minister Yves Bolduc Applauds the Launch of Construction at the Orbite Aluminae Inc. Plant

CAP-CHAT, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - June 22, 2012) - Dr. Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region and Bas-Saint-Laurent region, on behalf of Sam Hamad, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, today attended the ground-breaking ceremony marking the launch of construction to convert the existing Orbite Aluminae Inc. pilot plant to a high-purity alumina processing plant. The project is valued at more than $45 M before tax credits.

"The conversion of the existing pilot plant has come as the result of enormous efforts made by visionaries," affirmed Dr. Bolduc. "In fact, we can be very proud of the wealth of aluminum industry expertise here in Québec, and our government will continue to support the growth of this strategic sector, which is also an economic driver in many Québec regions."

Our government has supported Orbite initiatives on a number of occasions, notably through research and development tax credits and the allocation by the Department of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy of $150,000 from the Fonds d'intervention stratégique régional. In addition, the Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade financed the construction of the pilot plant with a $2 million refundable loan and provided $50,000 funding for a feasibility study on the high-purity alumina processing plant.

"This project will spur the creation of 30 to 40 specialized jobs and will consolidate 10 current jobs," added Minister Bolduc. "Moreover, the unique and innovative process used by Orbite is ecological and was developed in collaboration with the Centre d'Études des procédés chimiques du Québec, which is associated with CÉGEP de Maisonneuve. In converting its pilot plant to a full production facility, Orbite will act as a major economic lever in the region and will attract high profile businesses."

"Because of the business opportunities it creates, this Orbite project is ideally aligned to the orientations set out in the Plan Nord by our government to develop the economic potential of Québec and generate wealth. Given the scope of the project and extent of its spinoffs, the abundance of knowledge required and available, and the number of suppliers involved, the Plan Nord will benefit all regions of Québec and all sectors of its economy," stated Minister Hamad.

Orbite is involved in the exploration of mining properties with a view to commercial production. The company deploys its technologies to extract alumina and value-added by-products from aluminous clays in conditions that respect the environment. High-purity alumina is used widely in green technologies associated with electronics, optics and electrical materials. For its part, smelter grade alumina is a raw material used in the aluminum industry, and Orbite is working towards commissioning its first smelter grade alumina plant in 2014.

"Our objective is to produce up to 10 tonnes of high-purity alumina daily, which will have a major impact on Québec and global markets," declared Richard Boudreault, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orbite. "We also recently signed a partnership agreement with Russian firm Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer, for our smelter grade alumina project. The agreement is a testament to the calibre of our company."

About the Plan Nord

The Plan Nord is the project of a generation. One of the largest economic, social and environmental development projects of our time, the Plan Nord will be carried out over 25 years. It will lead to investments of more than $80 billion during this period and will create or consolidate an average of 20,000 jobs a year.

The Plan Nord is also an exemplary sustainable development project, with 50% of the territory in Northern Québec dedicated to protecting the environment and maintaining biodiversity.

To learn more about the Plan Nord, please go to:

For more information on the programs and services offered by the Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade (MDEIE), please go to:

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Contact Information

  • Sources:
    Natacha Joncas-Boudreau, Press Attache
    Office of the Minister of Health and Social Services
    and Minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region
    and the Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine region
    Tel.: 418-266-7171

    Political Attache
    Constituency Office of the Member for Gaspe
    Tel.: 418-360-1217

    Harold Fortin, Press Attache
    Office of the Minister of Economic Development,
    Innovation and Export Trade and Minister responsible
    for the Capitale-Nationale region
    Tel.: 418-691-5650

    Jean-Pierre D'Auteuil
    Media Relations Officer
    Department of Economic Development,
    Innovation and Export Trade
    Tel.: 418-691-5698, ext. 4868