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Orbite Adds Gallium and Scandium Separation Facility at the HPA plant
Montreal, Quebec. October 22, 2012 – Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX:ORT / OTCQX:EORBF) (“Orbite” or the “Company”) today announced it has reached an agreement with the firm M&K of St. Louis, Missouri (USA) for the engineering and construction of a separation plant capable of producing gallium oxide at a purity of 4N (99.99%) and scandium oxide at a purity of 2N or greater (99%+) from the acid recovery circuit of its HPA plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec. This addition represents a major advancement for Orbite’s business plan, which had previously anticipated that the separation and production of these two oxides would begin with the Company’s smelter-grade alumina (SGA) plant. The separation facility, which had already been designed as part of the SGA plant, will now be integrated into the HPA design, thus advancing the production of gallium and scandium into 2013.
Yves Noël, Orbite’s Chief Marketing Officer, commented, “We are receiving much more interest for immediate delivery of scandium and gallium than we had anticipated from the market. As a result, we intend to capitalize on these opportunities to quickly establish ourselves as a key supplier of high purity and high value products.”
Stan Meyer, co-founder of M&K, added, “The ability to separate and produce these two rare metal oxides at a high-purity level represents a smart, strategic move for Orbite. We are proud to assist in the integration of the rare earth separation plant design, first conceived for the SGA facility, into the HPA plant design. Combining Orbite’s technology with our own expertise, we continue to build on our solid partnership, which is the best bet to ensure the project’s success.”
Construction of the HPA plant is still ahead of schedule, with commissioning expected to begin in the next few weeks and completion by the end of 2012. The civil engineering and infrastructure work is now more than 98% complete, while the electrical work is also ahead of the original construction timetable.
Changes in Orbite’s R&D Team
Orbite also announces the departure of Dr. Joël Fournier, who until recently was involved with the research team at Orbite’s laboratory located in Laval. Dr. Hubert Dumont, the Technical Director of the research team, is assuming those responsibilities in assisting Richard Boudreault with Research & Development and Operations. Mr. Fournier will continue to advise Orbite on an ongoing basis should such assistance be required.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Orbite’s technology, which is avant-garde and revolutionary on many levels, already ensures the Company’s imminent success. I have complete confidence in the abilities of the management team to achieve this and, in particular, would like to salute Richard Boudreault for his leadership, boldness and vision,” stated Dr. Joël Fournier.
The research team at the laboratory in Laval, consisting of eight members, will continue to work under the continued direction of Dr. Hubert Dumont, who joined Orbite as the Technical Director in September 2011. Dr. Dumont holds a Doctorate in Chemical Physics and has more than 15 years of experience in the industrial development of high-purity products and of separation and purification technologies related to the metallurgical, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries.
Orbite Invited to Brazil and Singapore
Important industry participants in the alumina and aluminum industry are recognizing more and more the impact that Orbite’s clean technology will have on their activities. In reflection of this, members of Orbite’s engineering team together with members from Rusal UC have been invited to present at the 19th International Symposium of ICSOBA (the International Committee for Study of Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium) October 30-31 in Brazil. This is a key gathering of academics and market participants involved in the bauxite, alumina and aluminum industries. In particular, Orbite will give two presentations at the conference – the first will review Orbite’s technology and its applications (“The Orbite Process: an Integrated Acid-Based Technology for Extracting Alumina from Clay and Alternative Feedstock”), while the second discusses the economics of red mud remediation and the extraction of value-added materials contained therein (“Remediation of Red Mud Using an Innovative Approach: A World-First Totally Integrated Process”). ICSOBA is an independent non-profit organization representing professionals from the bauxite, alumina, and aluminum industries, as well as suppliers of technology, researchers, and consultants from around the world.
Separately, Orbite’s Chief Marketing Officer, Yves Noël, will be in Singapore to attend the 2nd Asian Bauxite & Alumina Conference, held on October 31, where he will be introducing Orbite’s technology to the participants as part of a forum entitled “The Orbite Process: Low-Cost, Eco-Friendly Red Mud-Free Alumina Production from a Variety of Ores.” This conference brings together key decision-makers from the bauxite and alumina industry.
M&K Chemical Engineering Consultants, Inc. has over 75 plus highly trained engineers and designers, performing work in North and South America. M&K is a leader in the development of new technology in the chemical industry and offer our clients a full service engineering company. M&K’s diversified business model is able to support all projects ranging from the simple heat exchanger replacement to the 500 million dollar plus new plant design and start-up.