Orbite Aluminae produces the first North American heavy rare earths from aluminous clay; prepares for commercialization in 2013
- Category: Press Releases
09 Aug 2012
- Published on Thursday, 09 August 2012 04:18
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Montreal, Quebec, August 8, 2012 – Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX: ORT) (“Orbite” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has successfully extracted the first commercial samples of heavy rare earth oxides, gallium and scandium from its aluminous clay deposit in Grande-Vallée, Quebec. With its patented and patent pending, commercially-proven technology, the Quebec clean tech company is set to become the first commercial North American rare earths, gallium and scandium producer, ahead of its closest competitors. By 2013, it plans to offer heavy rare earth separation services to third parties and to produce its own resources by 2014.
Rare earths (dysprosium, erbium, neodymium, praseodymium, etc.) and rare metals (gallium, scandium, yttrium) are products of high commercial value considered scarce and seldom available in high enough concentrations to be profitable. Orbite’s technology allows for the low-cost extraction of rare earths and rare metals using the ecological and environmentally-friendly alumina extraction process. Orbite has evaluated the content of its Grande-Vallée aluminous clay deposit at more than 22% (ratio to total rare earths) in heavy rare earths and has noted a strong presence of scandium. To conduct testing for the extraction of individual rare earth and rare metal samples, Orbite retained the services of European companies CMI-UVK and MEAB, which validated extraction rates of more than 93% purity, i.e.: gallium at 93.86%; scandium at 93.11%; yttrium at 87.47%; neodymium and dysprosium, both at 99.9%; cerium at 99.5%; and gallium oxide at 99.99%.
“Our rare earths deposit holds significant commercial potential, and we expect to be the first in North America to offer a heavy rare earth extraction and separation technique as a derivative of our alumina production. Orbite’s entry into the global rare earths market should also help to reduce the economic risks associated with the concentration of separation techniques in China,” affirmed Richard Boudreault, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orbite Aluminae.
China is currently home to the majority of the world’s rare earths. The United States and Australia also hold considerable reserves but have been unable to maximize their potential due to the competitiveness of Chinese pricing and the environmental issues surrounding the commercialization of these products.
The Company has not yet completed a feasibility study and there is no certainty the proposed operations will be economically viable. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The information of a scientific or technical nature relating to the proposed HPA plant discussed herein has been reviewed and approved by Denis Primeau, ing., a “qualified person” pursuant to National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure of Mineral Projects (NI 43-101). Mr. Primeau is the Chief Engineer of Orbite, and as such, is not independent pursuant to NI 43-101.