Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX:ORT,OTCQX:EORBF) ) is a Canadian company whose innovative and proprietary technologies allow the extraction of alumina and other high-value products, such as rare earths and rare metals oxides, from various feedstocks, such as aluminous clay, bauxite, kaolin, and nephiline, all without generating any mineral wastes or tailings. These technologies also permit the remediation and reclamation of industrial wastes, including fly ash generated from coal combustion and red mud generated from alumina production using the industry standard Bayer process. Orbite is currently commissioning its first high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec. A smelter grade alumina (SGA) plant is in the Feasibility Stage. The Company owns fourteen intellectual property families covering its innovative processes and has already received patent protection for the first IP family in Canada, USA, Australia, Russia and China.
- Environmentally friendly and sustainable technology that can economically extract alumina and other constituent elements, including individually separated rare earth and rare metal oxides, from aluminous clay and other feedstocks.
- Orbite intends to build up to ten smelter-grade alumina (SGA) plants serving Quebec, the world’s third largest aluminum producing region in the world, several high-purity alumina (HPA) plants and to license our technology internationally.
- Announced initial non-commercial production in January 2013 from our first high-purity alumina (HPA) plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec. Commercial production is anticipated to begin in Q2 2013 at less than 1 tonne per day and reaching 5 tonnes per day by year-end.
- Feasibility Study is ongoing for a smelter-grade alumina plant using aluminous clay from our 1 billion tonne aluminous clay deposit.
- MOUs signed with several parties including the world’s largest aluminum producer, UC RUSAL, with the intent to participate in joint ventures to build smelter-grade alumina (SGA) plants.
- Signed an exclusive worldwide partnership Agreement in February 2013 with Veolia Environmental Services for the remediation of red mud including the construction of a demonstration red mud SGA plant operated by Veolia.
High Purity Alumina (HPA) Plant – Cap-Chat, Québec
Orbite began commissioning in December 2012 its first high-purity alumina (HPA) plant in Cap-Chat within the Gaspé region of Quebec. The plant produced its first independently verified tonne of 4N (99.99%) purity alumina in January 2013. Commissioning will continue throughout Q1 2013 with commercial production anticipated in Q2 2013. Once fully operational the plant will be capable of producing 4N to 6N purity HPA at a production capacity that will reach 5 tonnes per day by year-end.
Nearly half of the world’s HPA production is used in the manufacture of industrial sapphires which are used to manufacture substrates for LED lighting. HPA market demand is expected to grow from an estimated 15,000 tonnes in 2013 to over 25,000 tonnes in 2015 as incandescent lights are phased out across all major countries including USA and China.
The HPA plant will also begin producing scandium and gallium oxide in small quantities beginning in mid-2013.
Smelter Grade Alumina (SGA) Project – Gaspé region of Québec
Orbite is a game changer for the aluminum industry. Quebec is a the center of the third largest aluminum-producing region in the world after Russia and China, consisting of 9 smelters in Quebec, 2 in New York state, and 3 in Iceland.
Orbite’s technology represents a significant environmental advancement for the aluminum industry as the production of alumina occurs without the generation of the toxic red mud, which is a by-product of the industry standard Bayer process. Orbite also resolves several critical industry issues such as worldwide declining bauxite quality, which is significantly driving up operating costs, by allowing the use of aluminous clay, an abundant worldwide resource.
A 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) estimated that an Orbite SGA plant could produce each year approximately 540,000 tonnes of SGA, 1,100 tonnes of rare earths and rare metals, as well as high-purity silica, magnesium oxide and hematite. Capital costs were estimated at $500M and operating costs were estimated at $113M. This results in unit operating costs of $210 per tonne of alumina, placing the Orbite SGA plant at the bottom of the industry cost curve, prior to considering the impact of the other by-products
The SGA plant will be supplied by aluminous clay from the Grande-Vallée property, which hosts a 1 billion tonnes aluminous clay deposit (43-101 compliant), in the Gaspé region of Quebec. The deposit is already sufficient to satisfy 50% of the regional imports of alumina for over 50 years and is ranked 10th in the world for in-situ rare-earth value (22% heavy rare earths). The proximity of the property to a major road and several year-round deep-water ports could allow the shipping of the clay to a nearby Orbite SGA plant and will in turn facilitate the shipping of alumina to nearby smelters. Orbite also owns a further 550 km2 along the same aluminous clay structure in the Gapsé region representing 16x the size of the Grande-Vallée property.
Site selection for the first SGA plant is still in progress. A Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) is anticipated in Q4 2013 with construction potentially beginning in early 2014.
International Technology Licensing
Orbite intends to change the alumina and rare-earths industries by licensing its technology internationally.
In March of 2012, Orbite signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UC RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminum producer, for a potential investment of $25 million in the first phase of construction of an SGA plant that could be built in Quebec. RUSAl is a vertically integraged aluminum producer which typically mines bauxite in West Africa which is then transported to Russia and Siberia. Negotiations towards a joint-venture agreement are progressing.
In January 2013, Orbite signed a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) with Veolia Environmental Services for a worldwide exclusive license for the remediation of red mud wastes. Specific milestones have been established for the construction of a demonstration plant.
Richard Boudreault, M.Eng, MBA – President and CEO
Mr. Boudreault has been President of Orbite since 2007. He has an impressive list of accomplishments with start-up and high-growth companies in the new materials sector. He has a Master of Engineering degree from Cornell University in the United States, and an MBA from Universiré de Sherbrooke. He has worked in technology-related positions for numerous companies, such as SOFINOV (a subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec), Oerlikon Aerospace, and the Canadian Space Agency.
Glenn R. Kelly – Executive Vice President and COO
Mr. Kelly joins Orbite from CO2 Solutions where he was president and CEO since August 2008. Mr. Kelly holds a degree in civil engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from Laval University.
Mr. Kelly is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years of broad resource sector experience. His background includes project management, stakeholder relations and corporate development in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the energy industry. Mr. Kelly has played key roles in the development of Quebec’s natural gas industry, notably as founder and President of Intragaz Inc., an underground natural gas storage developer, as well as President of Rabaska Inc., a $1 billion liquefied natural gas terminal project. While at Rabaska, he was instrumental in negotiating LNG supply agreements with Russia’s Gazprom. Prior to his career in Quebec, Mr. Kelly worked throughout Canada as a facilities and drilling engineer for Chevron Canada Resources of Calgary.
Jacques Bédard, CGA – Vice President of Finance and CFO
Mr. Bedard is a senior executive officer with more than 25 years of international financial management experience in the high technology, multimedia, and medical devices sector. His résumé includes terms as Vice President, Finance and CFO for companies such as Softimage and ART, and he has also held senior financial management positions with Microsoft, among others. He has been with Orbite since November 24, 2010, as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. His strong knowledge of public companies operating in high-growth and highly regulated environments will no doubt prove advantageous for Orbite’s continuing growth and development.
Denis Primeau, Eng., MBA – Chief Engineer
Mr. Primeau is a seasoned executive with more than twenty years of experience in the chemical and petrochemical industries as well as other mining-related industries. In particular, Mr. Primeau was involved in the construction, commissioning, and optimization of various types of chemical processes and, among others, was a key player for Rio Tinto during the construction and commissioning of a plant for the enrichment of minerals and in the recycling of hydrochloric-based materials. Member of the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec (Quebec’s Order of Engineers), he holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from Université de Sherbrooke.
Yves Noël, Eng., MBA – Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Mr. Noël is a senior executive with over twenty years of sales and marketing experience in the field of high value-added, specialized fine chemicals, particularly high-purity products, with companies such as Akzo Nobel, Sandoz, and Clariant. His diverse background in mining and manufacturing industries has enabled him to cultivate exceptional expertise and success in negotiating trade agreements with major clients such as AbitibiBowater, Gildan, Dow, and Rio Tinto, as well as with various global distribution partners. Member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, he holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Marc Johnson, CFA – Vice President of Corporate Development
Mr. Johnson brings over 15 years of experience in equity research, investment banking, and business management in the natural resources and technology sectors. Most recently he was a Mining Analyst at M Partners, an Investment Bank, where he regularly followed Orbite for more than two years. As Vice President of Investor Relations, he will be responsible for implementing a cohesive strategy and managing relationships with institutional investors. Mr. Johnson holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Concordia University and the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Guy Louis Boucher LL.L., B.B.A – Vice President of Sustainable Development
Mr. Boucher is a senior executive with extensive experience in legal affairs and sustainable development, particularly within the natural resources domain. Prior to joining Orbite, Mr. Boucher spent a number of years with Domtar in top executive positions that included Vice-President, Sustainable Development and Vice-President, Legal Services and Environmental Affairs. As such, he was responsible for sustainability issues as well as many legal aspects of the company’s commercial activities. Mr. Boucher holds a license in civil law (LL.L.) from the Barreau du Québec and a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) from the University of Ottawa.
Jonathan Labranche LL.B. – Director of Legal Affairs
Mr. Labranche was called to the Bar of the Province of Quebec in 2000 and holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Université de Montréal. Having built an impressive practice in corporate law, securities, and regulatory affairs, he has represented a range of large businesses at various stages of their development, providing consulting services in financing, mergers and acquisitions, and investor relations, to name just a few. As Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs with Orbite, Mr. Labranche will act as an advisor to the management team and will handle all legal issues for the company, including the analysis of industry regulations applicable to the Company.
Marc Filion, PhD, MBA, Eng – Strategic and Resources Advisor
Dr. Filion,a geologist, was President and Chief Operating Officer of SGF Mineral Inc. from 1998 to 2004, and Senior Vice President, Investments for Mines, Minerals and Materials for the Societé Generale de Financement du Quebec (SGF) from 2004 to 2006. He was also actively involved in promoting the development, financing, and construction of Phase II of the Alouette aluminum smelter, and brings in-depth knowledge of the alumina/aluminum industry to Orbite as Chairman of the Alouette Board of Directors. Mr. Filion holds a B.Sc. in Geology from Ecole Polytechnique at the Université de Montréal, a Ph.D. in Economic Geology and Geostatistics from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London, England, and an MBA from Ecole des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal, Quebec.
Mr. Pierre Després, LL.L.– Communications and Public Affairs Advisor
Mr. Després will focus on advising Orbite on public affairs issues while enhancing the Company’s presence in the community and its reputation among key business and community leaders, decisions makers, and stakeholders. Over the years, Mr. Després has garnered extensive executive and consulting experience with leading Canadian firms as well as globally as Vice President, Communications, Alcoa Global Primary Products. He is very active in the business community and has been a member of various boards of directors of business associations such as the Conseil du Patronat du Québec and the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec.