Orbite ramps up alumina production in Canada
Exploration Orbite announced that the production
mode of alumina has shifted from a batch process a to semi-continuous
process. This acceleration in production will allow the company
to meet industry and partner demand as well as prepare for the
transition of the plant towards a commercial High-Purity Alumina
(HPA) production facility. This additional production capability
will make full use of Orbite’s patented process and demonstrate
the process’s potential to operate within full-scale industrial
conditions over three daily shifts allowing for continuous production.
Recent tests and analyses carried out by independent organizations
such as SINTEF and INRS, have confirmed that the physicochemical
properties of Orbite’s alumina material meet or exceed the standard
specifications of the aluminum smelter industry. These specifications,
which include bulk density, particle size and specific surface,
are specific to the aluminum smelter industry.
These results are further confirmed by the recent production
of a high-quality aluminum ingot. SINTEF and INRS, both recognized
centers of reference for the aluminum industry, have reported
the excellent quality of aluminum produced by Orbite alumina
as well as comparable behavior under cell electrolysis conditions
with competitor alumina resulting from the Bayer process.
Production at Orbite’s plant used the first 400 tons of the aluminous
clay bulk sample collected from the deposit located 23 km south
of Grande-Vallee in 2010. A new bulk sample of over 3,000 tons
has recently been extracted and will be shipped to the Cap-Chat
plant. This sample will enable the continued operations of the
facility for approximately an additional 12 months.
The alumina, alumina hydrates and aluminum leachate samples have
been used in producing external tests and analyses with research
centers of excellence in Canada and in Europe, in the production
of aluminum products and samples, for third party validation
and testing with engineering development partners in Canada and
abroad, for the continuous testing as well as for economic optimization.
Over the last few months, the equipment at the Cap-Chat plant
has also been operated to successfully test the extraction potential
of alumina from samples of bauxite, kaolin and other aluminous
ores from regions around the world. These tests, performed for
various aluminum firms and mining deposit owners have demonstrated
the potential to adapt the Orbite patented extraction process
to broader ore value-added chains. This is leading to further
discussions about the opportunity for licensing agreements with
third party users.
Orbite owns 100 percent of the mining rights on approximately
6,400 hectares of a Grande-Vallee property, the site of an aluminous
clay deposit located 23 km to the south of Grande-Vallee, and
a 28,000 sq. ft. full scale redundant line pilot plant in Cap
Chat, in the Gaspe region.