MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Jan. 16, 2017) - Orbite Technologies Inc. (TSX:ORT)(OTCQX:EORBF) ("Orbite", or the "Company") today announced that, further to its press release of December 14, 2016, production activities continue to progress positively at its high purity alumina ("HPA") plant, with the first 4N5+ HPA produced entirely from the newly designed and constructed plant.
- Both acid digestion of feedstock and crystallization of the digestion liquors into aluminum chloride hexahydrate crystals continue to operate smoothly and automatically.
- Purity results of some of the aluminum chloride hexahydrate ("ACH") crystal batches produced to date indicate that the Company may be able to increase plant crystallization capacity with the equipment in place, thereby potentially reducing capital expenditure requirements for future capacity upgrades.
- In preparation for the calcination of the produced ACH into HPA, the Company successfully produced approximately 3 tonnes of amorphous HPA to constitute the initial 'bed' in the fluidized bed decomposer and calciner. This amorphous HPA, produced using the Company's legacy low-capacity Harper decomposer, was successfully injected into the Outotec decomposer.
- ACH crystals, produced and centrifuged in the crystallization circuit, were then successfully transported pneumatically for injection into the calcination system, operating at approximately 750°C, normal operating conditions.
- ACH injection into the decomposer reached rates up to and commensurate with the production of 2 tonnes of HPA per day.
- HPA of 4N5+ purity was produced, which management considers to be very positive and which was ahead of internal expectations. Management anticipates that with subsequent batches, purity levels will trend towards 5N+, similar to the process the Company went through with the production of the ACH crystals.
- However, as some mechanical issues were noted with some heating elements of the calcination system, the Company has decided to proceed with a system cool down, for inspection, prior to ramp up to continuous operation.
"Having produced HPA entirely with the new plant, including the Outotec calcination system, is a very important milestone," stated Glenn Kelly. "While it has taken us a little longer than anticipated to get to this point, this was simply due to the learning curve combined with some relatively minor mechanical issues as we move towards our goal of producing 5N+ HPA. This is nothing unusual as our technology and equipment systems are new and complex. The key takeaway is that our process is solid and functions as anticipated. We are now going through a cooling down/inspection/reheating cycle at our ovens and oven heat up is expected in the week of January 23. Once done with our inspection, we anticipate ramping up methodically to 5N+ purity levels and 1 tpd production capacity. We look to achieve our 3 tpd nameplate capacity over the next months, as planned."
Orbite Technologies Inc. is a Canadian cleantech company whose innovative and proprietary processes are expected to produce alumina and other high-value products, such as rare earth and rare metal oxides, at one of the lowest costs in the industry, and in a sustainable fashion, using feedstocks that include aluminous clay, kaolin, nepheline, bauxite, red mud, fly ash as well as serpentine residues from chrysotile processing sites. Orbite is currently in the process of finalizing its first commercial high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant in Cap-Chat, Québec and has completed the basic engineering for a proposed smelter-grade alumina (SGA) production plant, which would use clay mined from its Grande-Vallée deposit. The Company's portfolio contains 16 intellectual property families, including 45 patents and 71 pending patent applications in 11 different countries and regions. The first intellectual property family is patented in Canada, USA, Australia, China, Japan and Russia. The Company also operates a state of the art technology development center in Laval, Québec, where its technologies are developed and validated.
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 30, 2016 on SEDAR, including those under the headings "Recent increase in budgeted capital costs will require additional financing and may adversely impact our prospects", "We will need to raise capital to continue our growth" and "Development Goals and Time Frames".
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.