MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX:ORT)(OTCQX:EORBF) ("Orbite" or the "Company") is pleased to announce, that as part of its growth strategy, it has entered into an agreement with a private company pursuant to which Orbite has been granted an exclusive option for a period of three years (the "Option Agreement") to acquire a 100% undivided interest in the mineral claims and exploration rights of the Chaswood kaolin clay and sand property located in Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada (the "Property").
The Chaswood Property consists of 163 claims encompassing 2,608 hectares (approximately 26.1 km2) in central Nova Scotia and is accessible by a network of paved highways and all-weather secondary roads. The property is strategically located near a natural gas pipeline and in proximity to the Port of Halifax, a major commercial port, that could enable national and international shipments from a nearby smelter-grade alumina (SGA) plant.
"Our vision is to build several SGA plants serving, the Northern Atlantic including Quebec, the world's third largest aluminum producing region. This option agreement, allows us to pursue our objectives for growth while providing the potential to diversify the SGA plant locations and feedstock material within the wider region," stated Richard Boudreault, President and CEO of Orbite. "Orbite already holds significant aluminous clay properties in Quebec, extending from the Quebec City region to our Grande-Vallée property in the Gaspé. As Orbite establishes itself as a significant player in the alumina industry, we would like to reiterate our commitment to developing SGA plants in the Gaspé and elsewhere, while also expressing our excitement to collaborate with the government of Nova Scotia and its communities. In this spirit of cooperation, we fully intend to provide local communities with information about our projects and the environmental, social, and economic impacts they will have, just like we're doing in the Gaspé region."
"We are very pleased to welcome Orbite Aluminae to Nova Scotia. Their innovative technology for producing alumina and industry experience make them a welcome addition to our business community," said Charlie Parker, Nova Scotia's Minister of Natural Resources. Nova Scotia's abundance of natural resources, including rich deposits of kaolin clay, access to a competitive energy supply, cost-effective transportation network and a streamlined permitting process make our province a good choice. I look forward to learning more about Orbite's plans as they work closely with government and communities to develop their project."
Historic drilling and seismic data suggests the potential for a deposit containing intercalated units of kaolin-rich clay and silica sand, extending approximately 6 kilometers in length and to a vertical depth that exceeds 100m in certain drill holes. The deposit consists of Cretaceous sediments, collectively termed the Chaswood Formation throughout the Maritime Provinces, which typically contain 20-23% alumina in the kaolin-rich silty clays and 95-99% silica in the silica sand. Lab testwork has confirmed that the kaolin rich clay fraction alone contains 30-38% alumina. The grade provided is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration work to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if future exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
In order to complete a mineral resource estimate that is compliant with NI 43-101, Orbite intends to review and compile historical data, complete a surface exploration and mapping program, and complete additional drilling to improve drill spacing, particularly in the southern end of the property.
Option Agreement Terms
In order to acquire a 100% undivided interest in the Property, Orbite is required to: (1) make a payment of $150,000, (2) incur aggregate exploration expenditures on the property of $1,000,000 by December 31, 2013 including costs related to an NI 43-101 technical report, (3) deliver an NI 43-101 technical report by December 31, 2014, and if Orbite decides to exercise the Option, (4) issue 2,4M Orbite common shares by January 1, 2016, vesting in tranches of 10% every six months following the date of issuance. The Option Agreement remains subject to the approval of regulatory authorities, including the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Additional Disclosure Regarding Grade Estimates of alumina
The estimates should not be relied upon as a quantification of mineral resources as a Qualified Person has not done sufficient work to classify any estimates as current mineral resources or mineral reserves and Orbite is not treating the estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. Historical data includes 34 drill holes obtained in several mineral assessment reports dated 1997-1998 by Kaoclay Resources Inc. (Gillis, 1997, 1998a, b) and from government mapping and drilling results completed in 1996 (Stea et al., 1996; Stea and Pullan, 2001). The kaolin grade was determined through lab testwork involving mechanical separation of the kaolin-rich clay from the raw sediment and from published whole rock analyses of clays in Cretaceous basins in Nova Scotia. Historical seismic reflection transections, completed as part of the mineral assessment work in the 1990's, support the extent of the stratigraphic model used. The lack of drill holes in the southern part of the property is a major limiting factor to determining a preliminary resource calculation. Where drill hole information was limited or absent, the clay/sand ratio was derived from north Chaswood drill data.
In order to improve the resolution of the geologic model, the first step will be to complete additional reconnaissance drilling in areas without any information. Because of the inherent variability of fluvial sedimentary architecture, drill spacing of at least 50-100m will be required to confidently assign thickness models to individual clay and sand strata. Whole rock chemical analyses and geotechnical data are also required from the clay sand strata on the property
Construction Update at Orbite's High Purity Alumina plant at Cap-Chat, Quebec
Services, utilities, infrastructure and civil engineering work have now been 100% completed and approximately 80% of the main process equipment is on site, which is ahead of the original schedule. Initial Commercial production of 4N to 6N high purity alumina is expected to begin in Q1 2013 with the production capacity gradually increasing to 3 tonnes per day by mid-2013. As part of the HPA plant design, part of the equipment has already been provisioned to a capacity of 5 tonnes per day. Orbite anticipates the installation in H2 2013 of the additional equipment necessary to achieve production of 5 tonnes per day by the end of 2013.
The technical content of this press release has been reviewed and approved by Marc Filion, a Qualified Person under the terms of Regulation 43-101 Respecting Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (Quebec). Mr. Filion is a Consultant to Orbite, and as such, is not independent pursuant to NI 43-101.
Orbite Aluminae Inc. is a Canadian cleantech company whose innovative technologies are setting the new standard for alumina production. Orbite technologies enable environmentally-neutral extraction of smelter-grade alumina (SGA), high-purity alumina (HPA) and high-value elements, including rare earths and rare metals, from a variety of sources such as aluminous clay and bauxite, without generating the caustic red mud residue that the Bayer process, traditionally used by the great majority of the industry, produces. The Company owns 100% of thirteen different families of intellectual property rights (and patents pending) filed across the world for the extraction of alumina at the highest standards of sustainability. Orbite also owns exclusive mining rights over a total of 585 km2 including the 33.4 km2 Grande-Vallée property, the site of a homogeneous aluminous clay deposit in Quebec, Canada containing an NI 43-101 compliant Indicated Mineral Resource of 1.04 billion tonnes (see ORT May 31, 2012 press release for a detailed breakdown of the resource). Orbite holds a mining lease on a portion of the deposit. Orbite is currently converting its 2,600 m2 pilot plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec, Canada, into a full-scale high-purity alumina production facility, and expects this plant to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2013. The Company also anticipates the initiation of construction of its first SGA plant towards the end of 2013. Orbite plans to offer SGA and HPA products and to license its low processing cost technologies to well-qualified producers who want to reduce their environmental footprint. Orbite has signed memorandums of understanding with the world's largest aluminum producer, UC RUSAL, and with NALCO, a major Asian aluminum company. Orbite recently published a series of white papers on the potential markets for its technology for production of alumina, treatment of red mud, and extraction of rare metals. These are available on our website: www.orbitealuminae.com/en/technology/white-paper.
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.