Major demonstration of Orbite's technological breakthrough
TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE: ORT.A
MONTREAL, Feb. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Exploration Orbite (TSX-V:ORT.A) is
pleased to announce that it has successfully produced its first ton of
high purity alumina and has done so ahead of schedule and on budget.
This first ton was produced at the company's pilot facility in
Cap-Chat, QC, using the company's patented process that marks an
important technological quantum step forward.
"Producing our first ton of high purity alumina is a major breakthrough
for Orbite because it proves definitely that the innovative process we
have developed is viable and suited to large scale production. It
brings us that much closer to a new metallurgical alumina production
facility and a high purity alumina production facility with very high
added value. We are consequently very confident about the future of the
Company and its products, since these results have exceeded our
expectations. This recent progress is the result of many years of hard
work and strategic preparation. For the Orbite team located in
Cap-Chat, this success is particularly evocative of their talent and
creativity," said Orbite president and CEO Richard Boudreault.
The production of this first ton of alumina has also provided an
opportunity to validate critical production cost assumptions and show
how efficient and environmentally friendly the various industrial
processes used are. This first phase also served as a test bed for
evaluating and developing additional technological innovations—for
which further patent applications will now be deposited— further
enhancing the corporation's proprietary production process.
The metallurgical alumina produced by Orbite would find users primarily
amongst the 10 aluminum smelters operating in Quebec generating 12% of
the world's aluminium production. Currently, the Quebec aluminum
industry imports over 6 million tons of metallurgical alumina each year
for aluminum production, representing some $ 3 billion annually and
roughly 3% of Quebec's GDP. This market is thus intended to be the
primary target for Orbite's metallurgical alumina.
The market for high purity alumina is growing rapidly with market prices
reaching now as much as $300 per kilogram. There are numerous
applications for this type of alumina: production of artificial
sapphires for fiber optic communications systems and the
microelectronic industry, substrates for integrated circuits and light
emitting diodes (LEDs), the coating of missile cones, and bioceramics
for prostheses and implants. LED lighting is a growing market segment
as demand for their domestic, commercial, and automotive applications
"Orbite has demonstrated conclusively that its production facility is
able to produce a ton of alumina per day. The coming weeks will be used
to optimize operations," said Joel Fournier, Vice President Technology.
The coming months will be devoted to sustaining the proper functioning
of the facility, to R&D, and readying the company's first industrial
plant for production of at least 500 metric tons of metallurgical
alumina per day. In addition, when the pilot production facility has
completed its mandate, its production capabilities will be upgraded and
switched solely towards high purity alumina.
Some of the metallurgical alumina produced at the plant during the pilot
project phase is expected to be sent to a Quebec aluminum smelter for
testing in its aluminum production operations.
Grande-Vallée Property Site expansion
Fifty-three additional claims next to the Company's Grande-Vallée
property have expanded its holdings from approximately 3457 hectares to
6,441 hectares. The property, located 20 kilometers south of
Grande-Vallée, covers a wide swath of argillaceous rock running some
Orbite owns 100% of the mining rights on its Grande-Vallée property, the
site of an aluminous clay deposit located 32 km northeast of
Murdochville, and a 28,000 sq. ft. facility in Cap Chat, both in the
Gaspé region. The Company also owns the intellectual rights to a unique
Canada and U.S.-patented process for extracting alumina from aluminous
clays for which other international patents are also pending. The
Company has cash assets of more than $13.5 million.
SOURCE EXPLORATION ORBITE V.S.P.A. INC.
For further information:
|Frédéric Bérard, Attorney |
HKDP Communications and Public Affairs
Tel.: 514-395-0375, ext. 259
First Canadian Capital Corp.