IS GWG in discussion with Orbite ??? That would be ironic to say the least.
TMR: Have any of these three companies you discussed assessed production ramp-up costs?
AK: All of them have a PEA outstanding, and all of them are working at trying to reduce their costs. A number of REE companies that are moving toward production are discussing ways of significantly reducing their extraction costs because they're in discussion with Orbite Aluminae Inc. (ORT:TSX; EORBF:OTXQX). Orbite Aluminae has developed a process by which a rock can be put into solution and its component elements extracted in a fashion that does not consume any acid. It instead consumes energy in order to make these transformations. This is a huge cost advantage. A couple of companies that I know of are seriously involved in discussions with Orbite to use this technology. These companies have signed nondisclosure agreements with Orbite and are of the feeling that the Orbite process used in whole or in part will be able to significantly reduce their capital costs and, hence, give them a strong competitive advantage over other companies.
Also, Orbite claims that it has been able to extract very small quantities of extremely valuable elements like gallium and scandium from its ores that it is principally producing for aluminum, as well as the complete spectrum of REEs. All REE deposits tend to be a bit of a little treasure trove, and sometimes carry significant quantities of other valuable elements in either small, moderate or even large proportions, such as niobium, tantalum, zirconium, hafnium and beryllium. If the Orbite process is useful in extracting these other elements, you could imagine that the increased revenue would decrease the operating cost per pound of extracting the REEs and would be another significant economic advantage. At least in the preliminary stages, the Orbite process looks like it's going to be able to do this. It looks like the Orbite process may be a significant contributor to revenue. [Editor's Note: Alex Knox provides consulting services to Orbite Aluminae Inc.]