MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2012) - Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX:ORT)(OTCQX:EORBF) ("Orbite" or the "Company") today announced it has reached an agreement with the firm M&K of St. Louis, Missouri (USA) for the engineering and construction of a separation plant capable of producing gallium oxide at a purity of 4N (99.99%) and scandium oxide at a purity of 2N or greater (99%+) from the acid recovery circuit of its HPA plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec. This addition represents a major advancement for Orbite's business plan, which had previously anticipated that the separation and production of these two oxides would begin with the Company's smelter-grade alumina (SGA) plant. The separation facility, which had already been designed as part of the SGA plant, will now be integrated into the HPA design, thus advancing the production of gallium and scandium into 2013.
Yves Noël, Orbite's Chief Marketing Officer, commented, "We are receiving much more interest for immediate delivery of scandium and gallium than we had anticipated from the market. As a result, we intend to capitalize on these opportunities to quickly establish ourselves as a key supplier of high purity and high value products."
Stan Meyer, co-founder of M&K, added, "The ability to separate and produce these two rare metal oxides at a high-purity level represents a smart, strategic move for Orbite. We are proud to assist in the integration of the rare earth separation plant design, first conceived for the SGA facility, into the HPA plant design. Combining Orbite's technology with our own expertise, we continue to build on our solid partnership, which is the best bet to ensure the project's success."
Construction of the HPA plant is still ahead of schedule, with commissioning expected to begin in the next few weeks and completion by the end of 2012. The civil engineering and infrastructure work is now more than 98% complete, while the electrical work is also ahead of the original construction timetable.
Changes in Orbite's R&D Team
Orbite also announces the departure of Dr. Joël Fournier, who until recently was involved with the research team at Orbite's laboratory located in Laval. Dr. Hubert Dumont, the Technical Director of the research team, is assuming those responsibilities in assisting Richard Boudreault with Research & Development and Operations. Mr. Fournier will continue to advise Orbite on an ongoing basis should such assistance be required.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Orbite's technology, which is avant-garde and revolutionary on many levels, already ensures the Company's imminent success. I have complete confidence in the abilities of the management team to achieve this and, in particular, would like to salute Richard Boudreault for his leadership, boldness and vision," stated Dr. Joël Fournier.
The research team at the laboratory in Laval, consisting of eight members, will continue to work under the continued direction of Dr. Hubert Dumont, who joined Orbite as the Technical Director in September 2011. Dr. Dumont holds a Doctorate in Chemical Physics and has more than 15 years of experience in the industrial development of high-purity products and of separation and purification technologies related to the metallurgical, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries.
Orbite Invited to Brazil and Singapore
Important industry participants in the alumina and aluminum industry are recognizing more and more the impact that Orbite's clean technology will have on their activities. In reflection of this, members of Orbite's engineering team together with members from Rusal UC have been invited to present at the 19th International Symposium of ICSOBA (the International Committee for Study of Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium) October 30-31 in Brazil. This is a key gathering of academics and market participants involved in the bauxite, alumina and aluminum industries. In particular, Orbite will give two presentations at the conference - the first will review Orbite's technology and its applications ("The Orbite Process: an Integrated Acid-Based Technology for Extracting Alumina from Clay and Alternative Feedstock"), while the second discusses the economics of red mud remediation and the extraction of value-added materials contained therein ("Remediation of Red Mud Using an Innovative Approach: A World-First Totally Integrated Process"). ICSOBA is an independent non-profit organization representing professionals from the bauxite, alumina, and aluminum industries, as well as suppliers of technology, researchers, and consultants from around the world.
Separately, Orbite's Chief Marketing Officer, Yves Noël, will be in Singapore to attend the 2nd Asian Bauxite & Alumina Conference, held on October 31, where he will be introducing Orbite's technology to the participants as part of a forum entitled "The Orbite Process: Low-Cost, Eco-Friendly Red Mud-Free Alumina Production from a Variety of Ores." This conference brings together key decision-makers from the bauxite and alumina industry.
M&K Chemical Engineering Consultants, Inc. has over 75 plus highly trained engineers and designers, performing work in North and South America. M&K is a leader in the development of new technology in the chemical industry and offer our clients a full service engineering company. M&K's diversified business model is able to support all projects ranging from the simple heat exchanger replacement to the 500 million dollar plus new plant design and start-up.
Orbite Aluminae Inc. or "Orbite" (TSX:ORT)(OTCQX:EORBF) is a Canadian company whose innovative and proprietary technology could have a significant impact on the aluminum industry. Our process allows for the environmentally sustainable production of smelter grade alumina (SGA) and high‐purity alumina (HPA) as well as of high‐purity high‐value by‐products -including rare earths - from locally sourced aluminous clay and other feedstocks that include bauxite, kaolin, nepheline, red mud and fly ash. Orbite plans to build and operate several SGA and HPA plants as well as license its technologies to well‐qualified producers aiming to reduce costs and their environmental footprint. The Company owns the intellectual property rights to the patented and proprietary process for extracting alumina from aluminous ores in Canada, USA and Australia, and has other international patents pending. Orbite has exclusive mining rights on a total of 60,984 hectares in the Gaspe region of Quebec, including the 6,665 hectare Grande‐Vallée property, site of an aluminous clay deposit containing an NI 43‐101 compliant 1 billion tonnes Indicated Resource. Orbite's first HPA plant in Cap‐Chat, Quebec will be commissioned at year-end and is expected to increase production to approximately 1,800 tonnes of HPA per year by 2014. A series of white papers detailing the technology and potential applications to different markets are available on our website (www.orbitealuminae.com/en/technology/white‐paper).
Forward-looking statements and disclaimer
Certain information contained in this document may include "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements may include statements regarding Orbite Aluminae Inc. ("Orbite" or the "Company") intentions, beliefs or current expectations about its projects, costs, objectives and future returns of the Company, or hypotheses underlying these items. In this document, words such as "may", "would", "could", "will", "likely", "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "plan", "estimate" and similar words and the negative form thereof are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times at or by which, such future performance will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time and/or management's good-faith beliefs with respect to future events, and are subject to known or unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other unpredictable factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control. These risks uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, those described in the section of the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) entitled "Risk and Uncertainties" as filed on March 22, 2012 on SEDAR,and in the section ''Risk Factors" of the Annual Information Form of March 30th, 2012 also filed on SEDAR, and could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, nor does it undertake any obligation to update, or revise any forward-looking statements or other information contained in this document to reflect subsequent information, events or circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws. The Revised Preliminary Economic Assessment (the "PEA") on the Company's Metallurgical Grade Alumina project (the "SGA Project" or "SGA Plant") with an effective date of November 24, 2011 and a revised report date of May 30, 2012, is preliminary in nature and it includes Indicated Mineral Resources of aluminous clay that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the conclusions reached in the PEA will be realized. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves have not demonstrated economic viability.