Orbite Aluminae Inc.

July 21, 2011 07:00 ET

Orbite Successfully Applies Its Alumina Extraction Process to Bauxite

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 21, 2011) - Exploration Orbite VSPA (TSX VENTURE:ORT.A) announces that it has successfully extracted alumina from samples of Guinean bauxite. Repeated internal laboratory tests and reviews by independent engineers have confirmed the potential of Orbite's process to extract alumina from bauxite. Orbite's radical innovation has opened the door to an immense new market for the corporation.

A potential alternative to the Bayer process

Laboratory tests at Orbite's Cap Chat facility were conducted by processing bauxite under the patented Orbite process. In particular, the rate of alumina extraction obtained with the tested bauxite compares well with that of the high-alumina clay from Orbite's Grande-Vallée deposit under similar conditions. The quality of the extracted alumina and the application of the Orbite process on bauxite lead management to believe that the Orbite process has the potential to become a viable substitute for the Bayer process. The Bayer process has remained virtually unchanged since its invention in 1887 by Karl Josef Bayer.

"These positive lab tests offer the potential for Orbite's unique alumina extraction process to become a substitute for the Bayer process currently used by the bauxite industry," explained Dr. Joel Fournier, Vice-President, Technologies. "The latest extraction tests demonstrate the possibility of adapting Orbite's patented alumina extraction process to the broader global bauxite market. This would give alumina producers around the world access to a more affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to the Bayer process."

The test results were reviewed by SENECA, an independent and renowned chemical process engineering consulting firm. "We have reviewed the methodology, lab log book and results, and we can confirm the strong extraction potential observed in these experiments using Orbite's technology," stated Raymond Simoneau, Senior Chemical Engineer and Vice-President, Engineering Development at SENECA.

New possibilities for Orbite's patented process

Companies from around the world involved in the extraction of alumina from bauxite continue to make significant investments in researching new ways to manage bauxite residue (a residue of the alumina refining process also known as red mud) in order to minimize the negative environmental impact of its disposal. "Many of today's aluminum producers are looking for new ways to reduce their environmental footprint, and the world is becoming increasingly concerned with the impact of red mud resulting from the Bayer process, particularly since the deadly spill in Hungary last year," said Richard Boudreault, CEO of Orbite. "Considering that Orbite's patented and independently produced alumina generates higher purity alumina without producing the harmful and toxic red mud, we feel confident in our ability to establish relationships with major producers. This new development of extracting alumina from bauxite using the patented Orbite process may result in the possible licensing of our exclusive technology to numerous bauxite refiners worldwide."

World bauxite resources are estimated at between 55 to 75 billion tonnes, and on average, four to five tonnes of bauxite are required to create two tonnes of alumina, from which one tonne of aluminum can be produced. At least 85% of world bauxite production is used in the manufacturing of alumina via the Bayer process(i). The Bayer process uses large quantities of electricity, produces greenhouse gases, and generates toxic red mud ponds. Each metric tonne of alumina produced creates approximately 1.5 metric tonne of red mud(ii). With more than 70 million tonnes of red mud residue generated annually from bauxite processing, the environmental cost of producing alumina with the Bayer process is significant.(iii) The bauxite market is considerable, and with Orbite's unique process, the corporation intends to continue investing time and resources in order to gain a share of this global market.

The foregoing do not constitute a "preliminary feasibility study", a "pre-feasibility study", a "feasibility study" or a "preliminary economic assessment" within the meaning of Regulation 43-101 respecting standards of disclosure for mineral projects (Québec) ("NI 43-101"). No feasibility study, pre-feasibility study or feasibility study pursuant to the requirements of NI 43-101 has been completed to date by Orbite.

About Orbite

Orbite owns 100% of the exclusive mining rights on its 6,441-hectare Grande-Vallée property, the site of an aluminous clay deposit located 32 km northeast of Murdochville, and a 28,000 sq. ft. at scale facility in Cap Chat, both in the Gaspé region. The latest NI 43-101 report issued has identified an Indicated Resource varying between 800 million and 1 billion tonnes of aluminous clay in part of the deposit, thus representing a half-century of the total current Canadian alumina imported. The higher quality metallurgical alumina, containing less iron and silicium impurities, produced by Orbite's process has been independently utilized by internationally renowned facilities such as INRS and SINTEF to produce high quality aluminum. The Corporation also owns the intellectual property rights to a unique Canada and U.S.-patented process for extracting alumina from aluminous ores and for which other international patents are also pending. Orbite is planning on offering smelter grade (SGA) and high purity alumina (HPA) as well as licensing its technologies to well qualified producers. www.orbitealuminae.com

Disclaimer – Safe Harbour Forward–Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to the future financial conditions, results of operations or business of Orbite. These statements may be current expectations and estimates about the markets in which Orbite operates and management's beliefs and assumptions regarding these markets. These statements are subject to important risks and uncertainties which are difficult to predict and assumptions which may prove to be inaccurate. The results or events predicted in forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results or events. Orbite disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

(i) Bauxite and Alumina, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY MINERALS YEARBOOK—2000, Patricia A. Plunkert, USGS, United States, http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/bauxite/090400.pdf

Alumina/Bauxite, Industrial Minerals, http://www.mineralnet.co.uk/MarketTracker/197171/AlumniaBauxite.html?id=ABR-C,AL-C

Bauxite, European Association of Mining Industries, http://www.euromines.org/mm_bauxite.html

(ii) Preparation and Reaction Mechanism of Red Mud based Ceramic Simple Bricks, Jianfeng WU, Fenghyi ZHANG, Hongli LI, Binzheng FANG, Xiaohong XU, School of Materials Science and Technology, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China, http://www.springerlink.com/content/w28u15138kl43416/

Management of Bauxite Residue (Red Mud), J. MUKHOPADHYAY, Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre, Nagpur, India,

Aluminum - Applied Mineralogy and Non-Metallic Resources, Dr Christoph Bühler, Dr Rainer Kündig, Schweizerische Geotechnische Kommission (Commission suisse de géotechnique), Zurich, Switzerland, http://www.sgtk.ch/rkuendig/dokumente/HS2010_Aluminum.pdf

(iii) Bauxite Residue/Brine for CO2 Sequestration, Robert Kleinmann, Yee Soong, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, United States, http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/factsheets/rd/R%26D051.pdf

On the Plasticity of Clay Mixtures with Bauxite Residue of the Bayer Process, Y. PONTIKES, G.N. ANGELOPOULOS, U. KIM, H. LEE, W. CARTY, University of Patras, Greece, New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University, USA, Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering, Seoul, Korea, http://www.redmud.org/Files/CIMTEC_06_Pontikes_et_al_Red_Mud_Plasticity.pdf

Alumina, The Aluminium Association, Arlington, Virginia, USA, http://www.aluminum.org/Content/NavigationMenu/TheIndustry/Alumina/default.htm

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