Orbite Aluminae Produces the First North American Heavy Rare Earths From Aluminous Clay; Prepares for Commercialisation in 2013
Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX: ORT) (“Orbite” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has successfully extracted the first commercial samples of heavy rare earth oxides, gallium and scandium from its aluminous clay deposit in Grande-Vallee, Quebec. With its patented and patent pending, commercially-proven technology, the Quebec clean tech company is set to become the first commercial North American rare earths, gallium and scandium producer, ahead of its closest competitors. By 2013, it plans to offer heavy rare earth separation services to third parties and to produce its own resources by 2014.
Rare earths (dysprosium, erbium, neodymium, praseodymium, etc.) and rare metals (gallium, scandium, yttrium) are products of high commercial value considered scarce and seldom available in high enough concentrations to be profitable. Orbite’s technology allows for the low-cost extraction of rare earths and rare metals using the ecological and environmentally-friendly alumina extraction process. Orbite has evaluated the content of its Grande-Vallee aluminous clay deposit at more than 22 percent (ratio to total rare earths) in heavy rare earths and has noted a strong presence of scandium. To conduct testing for the extraction of individual rare earth and rare metal samples, Orbite retained the services of European companies CMI-UVK and MEAB, which validated extraction rates of more than 93 percent purity, i.e.: gallium at 93.86%; scandium at 93.11%; yttrium at 87.47%; neodymium and dysprosium, both at 99.9%; cerium at 99.5%; and gallium oxide at 99.99%.
“Our rare earths deposit holds significant commercial potential, and we expect to be the first in North America to offer a heavy rare earth extraction and separation technique as a derivative of our alumina production. Orbite’s entry into the global rare earths market should also help to reduce the economic risks associated with the concentration of separation techniques in China,” affirmed Richard Boudreault, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orbite Aluminae.
China is currently home to the majority of the world’s rare earths. The United States and Australia also hold considerable reserves but have been unable to maximise their potential due to the competitiveness of Chinese pricing and the environmental issues surrounding the commercialisation of these products.
The Company has not yet completed a feasibility study and there is no certainty the proposed operations will be economically viable. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The information of a scientific or technical nature relating to the proposed HPA plant discussed herein has been reviewed and approved by Denis primeau, ing., a “qualified person” pursuant to National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure of Mineral Projects (NI 43-101). primeau is the Chief Engineer of Orbite, and as such, is not independent pursuant to NI 43-101.
Orbite Aluminae Inc. is a Canadian clean tech 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 toxic red mud residue that the traditional Bayer process produces. The Company owns ten 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 60,984 hectares, including the 6,665-hectare Grande-Vallee property, the site of an aluminous clay deposit in Quebec, Canada. An NI 43-101 compliant report identified over 1 billion tonnes of aluminous clay in part of this 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 in early 2013. The Company also anticipates the launch 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 recently entered into partnerships with the world’s largest aluminum producer, UC Rusal, and Asia’s largest aluminum complex, National Aluminium Company Limited.
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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Hill+Knowlton Strategies Sydney
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