Orbite Aluminae Inc.
TSX : ORT

Orbite Aluminae Inc.

June 21, 2012 07:30 ET

Orbite Announces 93% Oxide Extraction and Separation Rates for Certain Rare Earths and Rare Metals Confirming the Significance of its Alumina Production Project

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 21, 2012) -

Editors' Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX:ORT) (the "Company") is proud to announce that an independent analysis of samples of individual rare earth oxides (REO) and rare metal oxides (RMO) has confirmed a 23% increase in recovery rates over the figures published in the Revised Preliminary Economic Assessment Technical Report dated May 31, 2012, thereby increasing value of its smelter grade alumina (SGA) production project. Orbite also reanalyzed results of the various drilling campaigns carried out in recent years, confirming previously disclosed results.

Analysis of oxide extraction

The Company recently mandated European-based CMI-UVK GmbH to evaluate the extraction and separation of rare earth oxides and rare metal oxides from the Company's Grande-Vallée deposit. The tests were independently carried out at MEAB'S pilot plant in Germany.

The recovery results of the pilot assays attest to the individual extraction rates of the following elements: Gallium (99.8% - pH-controlled), Scandium (99.0% - pH-controlled) and Yttrium (93.0% - pH-controlled). As such, and taking into account the 95% concentration factor obtained in the front end acid recovery portion of the extraction process and a calcination loss of less than 1%, the Orbite process is expected to generate the following overall minimum oxide yields: Gallium at 93.86%, Scandium at 93.11%, and Yttrium at 87.47%. This represents a 23% increase in recovery rate over the figures published in the Revised Preliminary Economic Assessment Technical Report ("Revised PEA") dated May 31, 2012. Product samples representative of the final commercial phase are now available, and pilot phase assays for the other heavy elements (REO and RMO) are currently underway. The data obtained following the pilot assays has served as the basis for the design of the rare earths processing segment of the Company's smelter grade alumina (SGA) production plant and are being incorporated into the feasibility study relating thereto.

"The success of Orbite's technological innovation begins with its patented process. It has now been demonstrated that Gallium, Yttrium and particularly Scandium produced using the Orbite process should position the Company favourably in the market for these elements, with alumina remaining our principal product," explained Richard Boudreault, President and CEO of Orbite. "Given the positive results reported at the German pilot plant, we can now confirm that in addition to planning the overall recovery of acid and rare earths from the aluminous clay, the Orbite process shows major potential for the individual extraction of certain elements such as Scandium and other heavy rare earths as SGA by-products."

Additional testing analyses confirm added value of oxides

As part of its program to evaluate rare earth oxides and rare metal oxides, the Company announces the results of REO and RMO concentrations in the drilling samples from its 2008 to 2010 drilling campaigns. Following the release of the Revised PEA, the Company conducted additional analyses of Grande-Vallée samples from previous drilling campaigns. The ensuing study focused on more than 1,088 analysis results from 34 drill holes covering an area of approximately 3,000 metres east-to-west and 1,200 metres north-to-south.

The results of this second analysis confirm and reinforce the conclusions of the Revised PEA and clearly indicate that the REO and RMO values will add economic value to the Company's project, given the individual extraction and separation results obtained for heavy REO and RMO.

The results of this supplementary analysis are presented below:

Clay horizon Mudstone horizon
Year Al2O3
(%)
REO (total)
(ppm)
Sc2O3
(ppm)
Ga2O3
(ppm)
Al2O3
(%)
REO (total)
(ppm)
Sc2O3
(ppm)
Ga2O3
(ppm)
2008 24.45 501.2 23.4 45.3 21.01 396.0 22.3 38.1
2009-2010 24.81 502.0 24.4 45.4 20.38 403.2 22.4 39.2

For comparative purposes, the REO and RMO results published in Orbite's April 18, 2012 press release, and obtained from the limited sampling of its 2011 drilling campaigns are reproduced below.

Clay horizon Mudstone horizon
Area Al2O3
(%)
REO (total)
(ppm)
Sc2O3
(ppm)
Ga2O3
(ppm)
Al2O3
(%)
REO (total)
(ppm)
Sc2O3
(ppm)
Ga2O3
(ppm)
2011
(Marin)
24.31 515.0 26.1 44.9 19.86 417.8 25.9 37.9
2011
(Simoneau)
24.80 504.8 27.3 45.2
2007 & 2011
(Marin)
24.2 487.6 24.2 45.4

All of the values in the two tables above represent the arithmetic means of the analytical results for each clay and mudstone horizon. All analyses have been based on samples with concentrations higher than 18% Al2O3, i.e. the cut-off grade used in the evaluation of the resources in the Revised PEA. The samples were assayed according to the ME-MS81 protocols for rare earth elements and Ga and according to the ME-4ACD81 protocols for Sc at the ALS Minerals laboratory in Vancouver, British Columbia, with the detailed procedures available at www.alsglobal.com/minerals.aspx. In addition to the quality control program using duplicates and reference standards provided by the laboratory ALS Minerals, Orbite has adopted its own QA/QC program that adheres to best industry practices. Out of the samples analyzed, a 7.5% sub-group was randomly chosen and sent to a separate laboratory for comparative analysis. The results of this verification indicate that the average content of the total REO and RMO of the sub-group varies by less than 1% compared to the average REO and RMO content of all samples combined.

For all of the groups discussed, the percentage of heavy REO compared to the total REO (heavy REO/REO) varies from 21% to 22% for groups in the clay horizon and is 23.1% for those in the mudstone horizon. The heavy REO are defined by elements Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, and Y, without taking into consideration the 0.5% of Sc content.

A comparison between the average oxide values in the tables above show considerable similarities, further demonstrating the strong chemical homogeneity of the Grande-Vallée aluminous clay deposit. Whether part of the limited 2011 drilling campaigns in the Marin sector, the more widespread drilling campaigns conducted between 2008 and 2010, or the drilling samples from the Simoneau sector more than 13 km west of Marin, the total REO values and the RMO values are virtually identical.

The plotting of the combined REO values, the individual REO values, and the RMO values based on Al2O3 demonstrates the strong correlation of these oxides with the alumina values in both the clay and mudstone horizons. The single exception is Sc2O3, which reveals a consistent value in most samples without, however, correlating to the alumina values.

Strategic Elements Symposium

Orbite Aluminae, was invited to make a formal presentation on critical elements at the Strategic Elements Symposium in New York City on June 19, 2012. The event was hosted by Murdock Capital Partners, an American firm specializing in private banking services, and over sixty American institutional investors interested in strategic metals were in attendance. The keynote presentation from Jack Lifton, co-founder of Technology Metals Research, along with all other presentations, are available at www.murdockcapital.com.

Natural Resources Canada holds rare earths workshop

On June 26, 2012, Mr. Richard Boudreault, President and CEO of Orbite Aluminae, Dr. Joël Fournier, Chief Scientific Officer and Mr. Yves Noël, Vice-President, Business Development, Sales and Marketing, will participate in a one-day rare earths workshop in Ottawa held by Natural Resources Canada. Targeting research and development as well as polices surrounding rare earths and bringing together Canadian experts, employees of Natural Resources Canada, and representatives from the US, European and Japanese governments, the event will enable the Company to raise awareness about its potential to produce rare earths in the short-term from its Grande-Vallée resources.

End of operations at the pilot plant: on course towards production

In conjunction with the end of operations of its Cap-Chat pilot plant, which is currently being converted into a production scale high purity alumina facility, the Company wishes to thank its collaborators who actively participated in the pilot plant phase, including Adélard Soucy Inc.; the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade; the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy; the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec; as well as Aluminerie Alouette. Accordingly, the Company announces the end of the Cooperation Agreement with the latter entered into in 2009 and the conversion into Company shares of its outstanding $1M convertible loan, at market price less a 20% discount.

Warrants

The Company announces an amendment to the Common Share Purchase Warrant Indenture dated July 7, 2011, in order to extend the expiry date of the 8,984,375 purchase warrants of the Company issued thereunder to July 7, 2013. The warrants were originally set to expire on July 7, 2012. The amendment will become effective on July 6, 2012. The other terms and conditions of the warrants will remain unchanged, including the exercise price, which remains at $4.50 per share purchased.

The technical content of this press release has been reviewed and approved by Alex Knox, P. Geol., independent consultant, and Denis Primeau, Eng., MBA, Orbite's Chief Engineer, both Qualified Persons under the terms of Regulation 43-101 Respecting Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (Quebec).

About Orbite

Orbite currently owns 100% of the mining rights over a total of 60,984 hectares including the Grande-Vallee property measuring 6,665 hectares, the site of an aluminous clay deposit located 23 km south of Grande-Vallee, and a 2,600 m2 facility in the process of being converted into a high-purity alumina plant in Cap Chat, in the Gaspe region. An NI 43-101 report identified over 1 billion tonnes of aluminous clay in part of the deposit. The Company also owns ten different families of intellectual property rights (and patent pending), protected by Canadian and U.S. patents, for extracting alumina and for which patents are also pending in other countries.

www.orbitealuminae.com.

About CMI Industry

A specialist in industrial processes, CMI Industry designs, supplies and modernizes mechanical, heat and chemical treatment equipment and industrial efficiency solutions. In particular, CMI Industry supplies steel-makers, with unparalleled references in rolling mills, coating lines, furnaces, chemical treatment installations and special equipment. With a wealth of international experience as an assembler, CMI Industry also supplies other production plants. Thanks to its mastery of advanced technology and understanding of industrial processes, CMI designs solutions for reducing the environmental footprint of all types of industrial installations. These innovative solutions are always adapted to the specific needs of each and every customer.

CMI Chemline, CMI Industry'pole dedicated to chemical processes, is specialized in the design and supply of chemical treatment equipment for steel strips and long products. With its Business Units in Brazil, China, France, Germany. CMI Chemline counts many references running throughout the whole world. In parallel CMI Chemline is the leading supplier of Acid Regeneration Plants for e.g. Hydrochloric Acid. CMI Chemline built the largest Spray Roaster in Europe and specialized Plants all over the world. Customers like Arcelor Mittal, DOFASCO, IMSA, Rio Tinto count on CMI Chemline's Engineers and their expertise.

About MEAB

MEAB Metallextraktion AB, a Swedish company founded 1970, is a consulting and trading company, active in the hydrometallurgical field. Its special area of interest is Solvent Extraction. MEAB aim is to support interested customers with chemical and technical information and, on request, provide the necessary process engineering and complete equipment package, including start up services

Forward-looking statements

Certain information contained in this document may include "forward-looking information". Without limiting the foregoing, the information and any forward-looking information may include statements regarding 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 and information are based on information available at the time and/or the Company 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 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 information or statements contained in this document to reflect subsequent information, events or circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.

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Contact Information

  • MEDIAS
    Frederic Berard
    Vice-President
    H+K Strategies
    514-395-0375, ext. 259

    Orbite
    Jacques Bedard
    CFO
    Orbite Aluminae Inc.
    514-744-6264

    INVESTORS
    Louis Morin
    Investor Relations
    514-591-3988

    Jason Monaco
    Managing Partner
    First Canadian Capital Corp.
    416-742-5600

    Nicole Blanchard
    Investor Relations
    Sun International Communications
    450-973-6600

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