Orbite Aluminae Inc.
TSX : ORT

Orbite Aluminae Inc.

April 18, 2012 07:00 ET

Orbite Confirms the Association of Rare Earths and Rare Metals With Alumina at its Grande-Vallee Aluminous Clay Deposit

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 18, 2012) - Orbite Aluminae Inc. ("Orbite" or the "Company") (TSX:ORT) is pleased to announce that recently completed assays of clay samples from the Grande-Vallée Marin Sector support the previously known correlation between and association of potentially high-value rare earth elements ("REE") and rare metal elements ("RM") with alumina. These samples were taken from drilling programs conducted by the Company between 2007 and 2011. The REE and RM are by-products derived from the Company's patented technology, which extracts alumina from the aluminous clay deposit. An additional systematic assay program is currently underway for pulps obtained from 2007 to 2011 clay sample drilling. The partial results for this drilling program are presented below.

In parallel, pilot plant tests performed in Europe confirmed that the Company's patented chemical process enables a high recovery rate and individual extraction of REE and RM from clay in the Grande-Vallée deposit.

Finally, as a result of this latest assay program, Orbite has begun to convert its Cap Chat pilot plant into a full-scale production facility for high-purity alumina (HPA). With 70% of detailed engineering work completed, the Company is now at the stage of ordering major equipment and Orbite is awaiting final environmental authorization to begin specific construction work. Furthermore, the Company is pursuing its core business of developing a facility to extract smelter-grade alumina (SGA), from aluminous clay at its Grande-Vallée deposit, for which 95% of the basic engineering work is presently completed.

Background on the assay and drilling program

In August 2011, an initial series of 181 samples was selected and assayed, notably for alumina (Al2O3), iron (Fe2O3), silica (SiO2), magnesium oxide (MgO), and REE and RM. A total of 166 of these samples (3m-long) came from 16 drill holes located at the future open pit site of the Company's aluminous clay deposit at Grande-Vallée, and 15 others from randomly selected samples in other drill holes within the Marin Sector. During the same period, a second series of 9 samples from 6 exploration drill holes in the Simoneau Sector in the most western area of the Orbite Grande-Vallée property was selected and assayed, notably for alumina (Al2O3), iron (Fe2O3), silica (SiO2), magnesium oxide (MgO), and REE and RM. The detailed assay results are available for consultation at www.orbitealuminae.com. The samples were assayed according to the ME-MS81 and ME-MS61 protocols of the ALS Minerals laboratory in Vancouver, British Columbia, the details of which are available at www.alsglobal.com/minerals.aspx. In terms of laboratory duplicates and standards pertaining to its sampling program, Orbite has adopted the quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) protocols of ALS Minerals.

In February 2012, as part of the normal course of its business, the Company asked the independent ALS Minerals laboratory in Vancouver to assay for REE and RM a third series comprising 110 pulp samples from 3m-long core samples available from the 2011 drilling campaign, and 98 pulp samples from 15 cm long cores available from the 2007 drilling campaign. Details of these assay results are also available on the Orbite website. All of the above samples were taken from the proposed site of the Company's future mining operations, related to its vast aluminous clay deposit at Grande-Vallée, and had already been assayed for alumina, hematite, silica, and other oxides.

The following table provides an overview of the average grades for alumina (Al2O3), iron (Fe2O3), silica (SiO2), magnesium oxide (MgO), REE and certain RM from the three above-mentioned series of samples. The REE are subdivided into light rare earths (LREE) and heavy rare earths (HREE).

Oxides, REE & RM Average grade
1st series
Marin Sector (2011)
Average grade
2nd series
Simoneau Sector
(2011)
Average grade
3rd series
Marin Sector (2007 & 2011)
Average grade
1st series
Marin Sector (2011)
OXIDE ELEMENTS in % Claystone Claystone Claystone Mudstone
Al2O3 - Alumina 24.3 24.8 24.2 19.9
Fe2O3 - Hematite 8.5 8.8 8.7 7.9
SiO2 - Silica 50.9 51.3 50.5 56.5
MgO- magnesium oxide 1.5 1.7 1.6 2.1
LREE in ppm
La - Lanthanum 78.9 74.5 74.2 66.9
Ce - Cerium 159.2 162.4 151.4 129.1
Pr - Praseodymium 19.8 20.0 18.8 15.8
Nd - Neodymium 74.7 71.2 71.3 58.3
Sm - Samarium 14.1 13.9 14.0 11.0
Eu - Europium 2.6 2.4 2.5 2.1
Gd - Gadolinium 11.2 10.7 11.2 9.0
HREE in ppm
Tb - Terbium 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.4
Dy - Dysprosium 9.9 9.4 9.6 8.1
Ho - Holmium 2.0 1.8 1.8 1.6
Er - Erbium 5.2 5.0 5.2 4.5
Tu - Thulium n/a n/a n/a n/a
Yb - Ytterbium 4.8 4.5 4.6 4.1
Lu - Lutetium 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.6
Y - Yttrium 51.0 49.3 46.5 43.6
RM en ppm
Sc - Scandium 16.1 17.8 15.8 17.0
Ga - Gallium 33.4 33.6 33.8 28.4
Hf - Hafnium 5.3 n/a 5.0 5.7

These results strongly support the consistency as well as the close association of REE and RM with the alumina in the aluminous clay over the general area of the proposed future operations site in the Marin Sector within the Company's deposit site at Grande-Vallée. The assay results for certain REE and RM in the drill holes in the Simoneau Sector, located more than 13 km West of the Marin Sector, in the same geological horizon of aluminous clay in the L'Orignal Formation, further point to a strong continuity and homogeneity between these two sectors. An assay of a fourth series of some 1,600 pulps samples is currently underway to cover samples from the 2008, 2009, and 2010 drilling campaigns.

Finally, the latest pilot plant tests performed in Europe confirmed the capacity to produce a chloride filtrate, after the iron removal within the final concentration steps of the Company's patented chemical process, which is highly concentrated in REE and RM. Such an approach allows a high recovery rate and individual extraction of REE and RM afterwards. These results demonstrate Orbite's process capability to recover the REE and RM from the clay of the Grande-Vallée deposit, which are initially present in low concentrations.

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

About Orbite

Orbite owns 100% of the mining rights on approximately 6,400 hectares of a Grande-Vallée property, the site of an aluminous clay deposit located 23 km to the south of Grande-Vallée, and a 2,600 m2 full-scale pilot plant in Cap Chat, in the Gaspé region. The NI 43-101 report issued in August 2011 has identified an Indicated Resource of about 1 billion tonnes of aluminous clay in part of the deposit. The Company also owns the intellectual property rights to a unique Canada and U.S. patented process for extracting alumina from aluminous ores and for which patents are also pending in other countries. www.orbitealuminae.com

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 November 14, 2011 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.

Contact Information

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

    Jacques Bedard
    Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer
    Orbite Aluminae Inc.
    514-744-6264, ext. 111

    INVESTOR RELATIONS
    Louis Morin
    Investor Relations
    Orbite Aluminae Inc.
    514-591-3988

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

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