MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2013) - Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX:ORT)(OTCQX:EORBF) ("Orbite" or the "Company") is pleased to announce it has been recently issued patents in China and Russia covering processes for producing alumina from aluminous ores such as clay, bauxite and other sources. These protect the same processes as those used in Orbite's high-purity alumina (HPA) plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec as well as processes that will be used in its first smelter-grade alumina (SGA) plant, currently at the Feasibility Study stage.
"The issuance of these two patents is excellent news since China and Russia are the largest aluminum producing regions in the world," said Richard Boudreault, President and CEO of Orbite. "No patent application filed by Orbite has ever been denied, which should alleviate concerns about the patentability of our technology in China, Russia, and in other important countries, for our expanding portfolio of intellectual property."
Orbite previously announced on September 20, 2012 it had received the Notice of Allowance for the patent applications in China and Russia. Patent CN 101842504 has an effective date of November 14, 2012 and patent RU 2471010 has an effective date of December 27, 2012. Orbite's patent portfolio now consists of nine patents in USA, Canada, Australia, China and Russia, as well as 31 pending patent applications in nine different countries covering fourteen intellectual property families.
All of Orbite's patent applications filed since 2010 are under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), an international treaty between more than 140 Paris Convention countries and administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single "international" patent application instead of filing several separate national applications. The granting of patents remains under the control of the national Offices in what is called the "national phase" which is reached approximately 30 months after filing the initial patent application.
HPA Plant Commissioning
Commissioning and optimization of Orbite's first high-purity alumina plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec is progressing according to plan. All material processed at the plant has been sourced from Orbite's 100%-owned aluminous clay deposit in Grande-Vallée, Quebec. The production of multiple customer samples according to their individual order and purity specifications is expected soon. HPA samples for customers in Europe, America and Asia will be shipped as the material becomes available during the first quarter of 2013.
As previously stated on January 22, 2013, further commissioning activities - and optimization of the purity towards 5N and greater - are expected to take up to two months to complete and are proceeding according to schedule. Orbite announced the independently verified production of 4N purity (99.99%) alumina and, subsequent to further optimization, is currently testing for higher purities.
Following the installation of additional alumina calcination equipment in Q2 2013, the HPA production capacity is expected to gradually increase from less than one tonne per day to three tonnes per day by mid-2013, and to five tonnes per day by the end of 2013.
Orbite anticipates that it will start commercial production in Q2 2013, with plans to offer HPA powder and HPA granules ranging from 4N (99.99%) to an eventual 6N (99.9999%) purity. Orbite also anticipates the production of gallium and scandium oxides once a rare-metal recovery circuit is completed in mid-2013.
The process used by Orbite to produce HPA is unique and patented. It differs significantly from the rest of the HPA industry and is expected to produce higher purities at lower production costs than existing producers. The HPA plant is also a showcase for the SGA technology that will be used at the Company's first SGA plant, currently at the Feasibility Study stage.
PerformAs Award from the Quebec Government
Orbite is also pleased to announce the Quebec Ministry of Finance and Economics (MFE) has named the Company as the 2013 winner of the PerformAS Award, which recognizes Orbite's achievements in furthering innovation and development of the chemical industry within the Province of Quebec. This prestigious prize was awarded on February 13, 2013 as part of an event organized by the Association for the Development and Innovation of Chemistry in Quebec (ADICQ) and the Consortium for Research and Innovation of Industrial Bio-Processes in Québec (CRIBIQ).
This is the second national award received by Orbite this year, having previously announced in January that it was named by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) in collaboration with the Canadian government's National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) as the National Winner of the 2012 Regional Awards in New Technology.
Orbite Aluminae Inc. is a Canadian company whose innovative and proprietary clean technologies allow the extraction of alumina and other high-value products, such as rare earths and rare metals, from various sources, such as aluminous clay, kaolin, nepheline, and bauxite, all without generating the caustic waste associated with the industry-standard Bayer process, commonly known as "red mud." These technologies also permit the remediation and reclamation of industrial waste, including fly ash from coal combustion and red mud. Orbite is currently commissioning its first commercial high-purity alumina production plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec. Orbite owns the exclusive mining rights over 34 km2 at Grande-Vallée which hosts a NI 43-101 compliant 1 billion tonnes aluminous clay deposit (see Reviewed Preliminary Economic Assessment, dated May 30, 2012) as well as exclusive mining rights over a further 550 km2 along the same clay formation in the Gaspé region of Quebec. The Company also holds fourteen families of intellectual property rights worldwide for its unique alumina and by-product extraction processes.
For more information on the Company please visit www.orbitealuminae.com
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.