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Orbite Launches Construction of High-Purity Alumina Plant

This project represents an investment of USD 26–30 million after refundable tax credits, which are subject to approval from government tax authorities. The work will be completed before the end of 2012, and commercial production is slated to begin in early 2013. Orbite estimates that the plant will produce 3 t/d of high-purity alumina in the 12 months that follow its commissioning. Since 2009, the Cap-Chat plant has been used as a pilot facility to develop the patented Orbite technology for the manufacturing of smelter grade alumina for aluminium plants, whose needs in Quebec alone have now risen to more than 6 Mt/a. As a result of the successful development of the Orbite technology, the pilot plant is undergoing conversion to a state-of-the-art high-purity alumina production plant. This construction represents the first ultra-high technology implementation in the heart of the Gaspé region. Orbite is also working closely with local academic institutions to ensure that the jobs created through the company’s activities and planned expansion projects go to members of nearby communities. In addition to the current HPA plant construction, the company is confidently planning its future in the Gaspé region by conducting a feasibility study for its smelter grade alumina plant in the Grande-Vallée region. The production of smelter grade alumina in the area will provide a key economic lever for the Quebec economy by helping the province’s aluminium smelters to lower their production costs. Indeed, the patented technology developed by Orbite will not only enable smelter grade alumina to be produced without producing red mud-a major ecological advantage-but will lower overall greenhouse gas emissions and optimize the commercialization of all of the by-products generated through metallurgical extraction from aluminous clay deposits in Quebec. Finally, Orbite is proud to be associated with a number of economic partners in Quebec that have supported it for many years, including Revenue Québec, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, and the elected officials and citizens in the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions. Orbite currently owns 100 % of the mining rights over a total of 60984 ha including the Grande-Vallee property measuring 6665 ha, the site of an aluminous clay deposit located 23 km south of Grande-Vallee, and a 2600 m2 facility in the process of being converted into a high-purity alumina plant in Cap Chat, in the Gaspe region. An NI 43-101 report identified over 1 billion t of aluminous clay in part of the deposit. The company also owns ten different families of intellectual property rights (and patent pending), protected by Canadian and US patents, for extracting alumina and for which patents are also pending in other countries. (6/2012)

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