TCMR: What is your assessment of Orbite Aluminae Inc.'s (ORT:TSX; EORBF:OTXQX) solvent-extraction, ion-exchange technology?
GH: My understanding of the Orbite process is that it is applicable primarily at the mineral concentrate stage to produce mixed REE precipitates or mixed REE concentrates. Standard processing such as solvent extraction is still needed in some form or another after that's done. It doesn't replace the latter stages of REE separation, whereas the SPE technology has been applied both upstream in the processing life cycle to remove uranium and other impurities, as well as downstream. It remains to be seen which works more effectively.
The thing that really intrigues me about the Orbite technology though, is the apparent potential for remediation of red mud and other pollution issues surrounding aluminum and related industries. If it can be applied to reduce or to eliminate some of these nasty tailings problems, that's a really exciting prospect and should be encouraged.