Yes, Alumina1, that's what I'm currently thinking, also with the possibility of coal being used (and, therefore, fly ash coming into the picture as well), that perhaps they could institute the transitional strategy mentioned in the white paper on red mud, which could work in conjunction with an existing plant.
Now, it isn't yet clear whether or not Rusal is developing their own distinct process to remediate red mud, or if they will want to go with Orbite's process for doing so (they've been working on their own treatment process for some time, but there's also a good chance that it's Orbite's process that ultimately makes the most sense for them, and may be included in their pilot work that they announced they were commencing with last March...due to NDA's, we can't know whether or not Rusal is now collaborating with Orbite on that, but there is at least a chance that they are, for we do know, at the very least that Orbite's process is very efficient at working with red mud as a feedstock too)
So I would think that's the big question that will eventually be answered for us in Jamaica: Will Rusal being going with Orbite's process to treat red mud, or sticking with their own? It might be that Orbite's newer work with fly ash might also help with that decision.
It might also be that that recent news of a Japan company signing on with the Jamaican govt. for a pilot plant for REE extraction from some of Jamaica's red mud, was, at least in part, a way for the Jamaican govt. to apply some pressure to Rusal at the negotiating table... One way or another, I imagine that red mud remediation is going to be a part of Rusal's future plans in Jamaica. Hopefully, they'll be going with Orbite's process when they do.
And even if they don't go with Orbite's process in Jamaica, isn't Rusal planning a NEW alumina plant in Guinea? If so, I would imagine there's an excellent chance Rusal will procede with Orbite's process in a NEW plant there. For, absolutely, Alumina1, Orbite's process should be considerably cheaper per tonne when working with bauxite and its much higher alumina concentration.
(A couple of reasons to use it on ores like clay is that those are the aluminous ores much closer to the smelters, which are often located close to abundant hydro-electricity, and are far from the bauxite rich equator. They also are likely to have more in the way of valuable by-products. So savings on transportation costs, and the added value of various usable by-products, are reasons for processing ores like nepheline, and now clay, while still processing aluminous rich bauxite near the equator - especially, I would add, now that Orbite's process can process both so cheaply and cleanly, ;-).)