Here is, partly, why we went from ''the process is unproven at scale'' moto to the ''I want to see contracts'' rhetoric.
Here is why:
Alumina is separated next; 60% of HCl is recovered during alumina production.
After leaching and removal of silica, the aluminum chloride is separated from the rest of the
solution by the bubbling of highly concentrated HCl gas, which given the operating conditions
renders the AlCl3 insoluble and the AlCl3 begins to crystalize. SMS-Siemag, one of Orbite’s
engineering companies, has successfully tested this process in a pilot facility in Vienna,
Austria. The tests were run continuously for two months and yielded more than 95% recovery
of the Al2O3.
Here is why:
Once crystallized, the AlCl3 is converted into alumina (or Al2O3) during the calcination step.
The calcination step is also the most important acid recovery loop as it recovers ~60% of the
HCl. The calcination takes place in a large circulating fluid bed, which is proven technology,
employing Outotec technology. This thermal energy requirements of this step are
approximately 15 GJ/tonne of Al2O3. The following equation captures the calcination reaction:
• 2 (AlCl3 * 6H2O) 1 Al2O3 + 6 HCl + 9 H2O.
Here is Why:
Hematite is recovered third with an additional 30% of HCl recycled.
Hematite is separated via low temperature hydrolysis (separation of chemical bonds by the
addition of water). During this process, HCl is also released and recycled. This process of
separating hematite and recycling HCl has been proven by SMS-Siemag. SMS-Siemag has
developed a similar large scale plant currently operating at a Thyssen Krupp facility in Mobile,
AL. The thermal energy requirements for this step are estimated to be 14 GJ/tonne of Al2O3.
The equation below highlights the hematite separation and HCl recovery:
• 2 FeCl3 + 3 H2O Fe2O3 + 6 HCl.
Here is Why:
Rare metals and earths are concentrated and separated using known processes.
As the hematite is separated, there is an opportunity to concentrate rare metals and earths.
Orbite expects to separate the rare metals and earths using a proven set of technologies
known as countercurrent solvent extraction. When management released its NI 43-101, it
expected to capture ~75% of the rare metals and earths. In a recent press release, Orbite
now anticipates achieving an 85% recovery rate.
Here is why:
Finally, the remaining acid is recovered along with magnesium and other oxides.
Magnesium and remaining oxides are separated via a pyrohydrolysis step. The technologies
required here are very well known and off-the-shelf equipment is available. The thermal
energy requirement of this step is one to two GJ/tonne Al2O3. The following equations
represent the reactions that take place during the pyrohydrolysis step:
• MgCl2 + H2O MgO + 2 HCl;
• Me-Cl2 + H2O Me-O + n HCl.
Sub processes are tested and tested, known and well known, it is just a matter of putting these together, and this is not where there is much risk. But there is risk, delays and fine tuning might be longer than anticipated, but the chemistry is working. ''It's a chemical process it works or it doesn't'' said Dr Fournier at the last AGM if I recall. (Plus lets recall the successful operation of the pilot plant)
The stroke of genius of Boudreault, Fournier and team was, amongst other things, to put proven concepts together to create a new beast.
Just my view an my opinion on the sp:
Next few weeks, it can only go up. Only go up. Then maybe some volatily and downside or channeling in Jan and Feb maybe March, then march-April-May, we are all set up. We lose or we are rich. I believe we'll be richer.
After march/april/may 2013, given successful HPA prod, I just can't see why the share price would stop climbing, as I would not see how this company would stop growing short/mid term. Take a minute to think about it... Huge HPA market, gigantic SGA market , Redmud remediation, Fly ashes, Ree/Sc/Ga, ecofriendly... with production ongoing, everybody will want to be in and this is in weeks/few months at most… you will not have to wait a year, imo!
Ps: For more interesting stuff, see the Roth Capital report.