MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2012) - Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX:ORT)(OTCQX:EORBF) ("Orbite" or the "Company") is pleased to announce, that construction activities at its first high-purity alumina (HPA) plant, located in Cap-Chat, Quebec, Canada, have mostly been completed and that all the critical equipment is in place. Plant pre-operational verification and the commissioning of many sections of the plant are progressing according to plan.
"Initiation of the commissioning is an important milestone for the high-purity alumina (HPA) plant. As a result, we expect to achieve initial production in the near term and commercial production, as planned, for the start of Q2 2013. Once in commercial operation, the HPA plant should effectively demonstrate the processes of the smelter-grade alumina (SGA) plant, which is currently in the Feasibility Study stage", stated Richard Boudreault, President and CEO of Orbite.
Orbite's engineering team is following a detailed 720-step plan to complete pre-operational verification and commissioning. The initial production capacity is expected to gradually increase from less than 1 tonne per day of 4N to 6N HPA at the beginning of Q1 2013 to 3 tonnes per day by mid-2013 and to 5 tonnes per day by the end of 2013. Part of the equipment in the plant has already been provisioned to a production capacity of 5 tonnes per day. This ramp-up schedule could potentially be accelerated if initial customer demand exceeds expectations.
High-purity alumina is used primarily to manufacture industrial sapphires, which can be used as substrates in LED lights, LED screens and integrated circuits. HPA is also used in automotive sensors and other applications. Orbite intends to focus principally on the market for 5N and 6N HPA, which is of higher value than the 4N market.
Orbite also anticipates the production of gallium and scandium oxides once a recovery circuit is completed in mid-2013.
Intellectual Property Insurance
Orbite is pleased to announce that it has obtained from Munich Re insurance coverage for its intellectual property, including its portfolio of patents, trade secrets and trademarks. In particular, this will protect against claims of infringement by third parties and reimburse litigation costs for actions initiated by Orbite against third parties infringing on its intellectual property. This coverage will allow Orbite to respond to any allegations of infringement and defend its intellectual property rights without creating a financial burden on the Company. Orbite currently has 14 families of intellectual property covering various aspects of its technology and has already received patent protection for the first IP family in Canada, the USA and Australia.
"This insurance will provide Orbite with additional strength against would-be infringers of our intellectual property around the globe thus resulting in increased shareholder value", stated Richard Boudreault.
Orbite Aluminae Inc. is a Canadian cleantech company whose innovative technologies are setting the new standard for alumina production. Orbite technologies enable environmentally-neutral extraction of smelter-grade alumina (SGA), high-purity alumina (HPA) and high-value elements, including rare earths and rare metals, from a variety of sources such as aluminous clay and bauxite, without generating the caustic red mud residue that the Bayer process, traditionally used by the great majority of the industry, produces. The Company owns 100% of fourteen different families of intellectual property rights (and patents pending) filed across the world for the extraction of alumina at the highest standards of sustainability. Orbite also owns exclusive mining rights over a total of 585 km2 including the 33.4 km2 Grande-Vallée property, the site of a homogeneous aluminous clay deposit in Quebec, Canada containing an NI 43-101 compliant, Reviewed Preliminary Economic Assessment, dated May 30, 2012, Indicated Mineral Resource of 1.04 billion tonnes (see ORT May 31, 2012 press release for a detailed breakdown of the resource). Orbite holds a mining lease on a portion of the deposit. Orbite is currently converting its 2,600 m2 pilot plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec, Canada, into a full-scale high-purity alumina production facility, and expects this plant to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2013. The Company also anticipates the initiation of construction of its first SGA plant towards the end of 2013. Orbite plans to offer SGA and HPA products and to license its low processing cost technologies to well-qualified producers who want to reduce their environmental footprint. Orbite has signed memorandums of understanding with the world's largest aluminum producer, UC RUSAL, and with a major Asian aluminum company. Orbite recently published a series of white papers on the potential markets for its technology for production of alumina, treatment of red mud, and extraction of rare metals. These are available on our website: www.orbitealuminae.com/en/technology/white-paper.
Certain information contained in this document may include "forward-looking information". Without limiting the foregoing, the information and any forward-looking information may include statements regarding projects, costs, objectives and future returns of the Company or hypotheses underlying these items. In this document, words such as "may", "would", "could", "will", "likely", "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "plan", "estimate" and similar words and the negative form thereof are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times at or by which, such future performance will be achieved. Forward-looking statements and information are based on information available at the time and/or the Company management's good-faith beliefs with respect to future events and are subject to known or unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other unpredictable factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control. These risks uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, those described in the section of the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) entitled "Risk and Uncertainties" as filed on March 22, 2012 on SEDAR, and could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, nor does it undertake, any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements contained in this document to reflect subsequent information, events or circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.