Deripaska decided to purchase that technology and build a plant in Eastern Siberia where there are enough raw materials to produce alumina. Vladislav Solovyov promised that this project would make it possible to avoid the use of imported bauxite.
Well, Rusal has made a profitable choice.
Orbite hasn't invented a new method at all, but merely reproduced the old Soviet process. RB has said many times that the Orbite's technology is not quite new.
Indeed, Orbite has said that too. It's a mix of known technologies and of some recent ones, for instance:
-- Vitrified filtration tanks
-- Advanced filtration technology.
-- Selective precipitation by pH control with the help of computers
Pechiney had tried something similar many years ago, but failed and let drop.
The scientists claim that this agenda is being pushed by those with insufficient expertise, because it is not possible to extract millions of tons of metallurgical alumina from kaolin clay. It is no coincidence that the Canadian aluminum company Alcan (purchased by Rio Tinto in 2007) is not interested in the technology.
-- The massive production of alumina is possible by scaling.
-- The producion costs are minimal.
-- The low-cost seperation of all chemical elements permits the production of valuable elements, like silica, rare earths, rare metals...
I's for all these reasons that Rusal has made a MOU with Orbite. In fact Rio Tinto has waited to see if the process was working.
Too late for RT, because Rusal's engineers have verified closely the process and validated it.