EXPLORATION ORBITE V.S.P.A. INC.
TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE: ORT.A
MONTREAL, May 25, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Exploration Orbite (TSXV: ORT.A) is pleased to announce that it has produced its first samples of
aluminum, conclusively demonstrating the viability of its entire
value-added chain — from clay to metallurgical aluminum. The samples
were manufactured using Cap-Chat Smelter Grade Alumina (SGA), which is
designed to meet current industry standards for purity and particle
size (granulometry). The quality of the metallurgical alumina (or SGA)
was ultimately confirmed by an independent, world-class research
facility in Canada through electrolysis smelting into aluminum.
"The production of the latest generation of SGA material is a
significant milestone for Orbite," explained Dr. Joel Fournier, VP Technologies. "The Bayer process, widely used by the aluminum industry, can take up to
36 hours during crystal growth in order to reach the appropriate
granulomety. By contrast, Orbite's patented process offers significant
competitive advantages in terms of both crystal precipitation and the
growth period, which is reduced to a fraction of the time required by
the Bayer process."
Tests confirm strong market potential
The samples of aluminum were produced under the direction of Professor
Lionel Roué, at the National Institute of Scientific Research — Energy,
Materials and Communications (INRS-EMC), on behalf of Orbite. Dr Roué
is a recognized leader in the electrochemistry of aluminum production.
The SGA material, delivered by Orbite to INRS, underwent a series of
electrolysis smelting experiments at the Institute. The tests were
performed under electrolysis conditions commonly used throughout the
industry and aluminum was reliably produced in all trials performed.
The electrical potential and faradaic efficiency obtained are both
consistent with and similar to those of metallurgical alumina commonly
consumed by aluminum smelters globally, demonstrating a strong
compatibility between Orbite's SGA product and the electrolysis
technology used in the industry. Building on these positive results,
Orbite will continue to work on aluminum production with INRS to
achieve optimal production parameters. "The tests confirmed that the alumina produced by Orbite has a similar
behaviour into a molten salt reduction cell as the conventional alumina
used by most of the aluminum smelters around the world," said Professor Lionel Roué.
A new chapter in Orbite's growth
Orbite's Cap-Chat pilot plant has re-initiated production following
minor retooling to allow for production of metallurgical alumina. This
SGA material is aimed directly at the aluminum production market.
Approximately 82M tonnes of alumina are produced globally each year and
this amount is expected to grow to 156M tonnes by the end of the
decade, with a current spot price neighbouring $425 per tonne. The
alumina produced at the Cap-Chat facility will be marketed to the
various aluminum producers with whom Orbite is currently in discussion.
Following SGA sample production, the pilot plant's next major step is to
proceed with optimizing production as well as to generate the data
required for the SGA feasibility study (as per NI43-101 standards).
This study is currently planned for the second half of the fiscal year.
"The production of aluminum from Orbite's smelter grade alumina is a
vital step for the company. It demonstrates the company's ability to make a superior quality,
high-demand smelter grade alumina product, and to do so more
efficiently and without the environmental impacts associated with the
Bayer process — the industry's most commonly used process. Not only
have we produced metallurgical alumina from Gaspesia clay, but we have
done so under the supervision of an independent research centre,
demonstrating that aluminum can be produced using the standards,
technology and methods of the aluminum industry, " said Richard Boudreault , CEO.
Orbite owns 100% of the exclusive mining rights on its 6,441-hectare
Grande-Vallée property, the site of an aluminous clay deposit located
32 km northeast of Murdochville, and a 28,000 sq. ft. "at scale" pilot
facility in Cap Chat, both in the Gaspé region. The latest NI 43-101
report issued has identified an Indicated Resource of more than 1
billion tonnes of aluminous clay in part of the deposit, thus
representing a half-century of the total current Canadian alumina
imported. The Company also owns the intellectual property rights to a
unique Canada and U.S.-patented process for extracting alumina from
aluminous clays and for which other international patents are also
pending. The Company has current cash assets of more than
$19 million. www.explorationorbite.com
Orbite is Most Definitely Thinking Outside the Bauxite
INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) is one of Canada's
top universities in terms of research intensity (funding per faculty
member). It brings together 150 professors, over 700 graduate and
postgraduate students, and a hundred postdoctoral researchers at four
centres in Montreal, Québec City, Laval, and Varennes. INRS ranks first
in Quebec and second in Canada in terms of grants per professor
according to Canada's Top 50 Research Universities. INRS is an
incubator of post-graduate social, technological, and scientific
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider
(as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange)
accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE EXPLORATION ORBITE V.S.P.A. INC.
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