Addressing supply issues for high-end applications

Orbite’s technology allows the production of high-purity products for high-end applications such as electronics, energy and materials. The Company’s Specialty Products portfolio consists of HPA and HVE:

Sc

Scandium

Ga

Gallium

Y

Yttrium

Dy

Dysprosium

Nd

Neodymium

Pr

Praseodymium

Eu

Europium

+

Others

 

 

High-Purity Alumina

(HPA)

HPA is generally defined as alumina with purities greater than 99.99% (4N).

Through work at our Technology Development Centre (TDC), we customize our HPA product portfolio to match requirements for specific market applications. Alumina comes in different crystal forms, the most dominant, in terms of application, are alpha and gamma. Gamma HPA is highly porous and used predominantly in catalytic applications. Alpha HPA is used for sapphire-based applications, coatings, ceramics and lithium-ion battery (LIB) separators, and is the form Orbite will be producing initially.

 

Rare Earth Elements and Rare Metals

(REE & RM)

REE and RM, such as Gallium, Scandium, Dysprosium, Praseodymium, Yttrium, and Neodymium have become increasingly critical for the viability of technological devices.

The unique magnetic, electrical and physical characteristics of these materials, allow for breakthrough technologies in a variety of fast growing applications. Although global output of rare earths, at around 115,000 tonnes per annum in 2014*, is relatively low, these materials are critical to key industries worth more than $4.8 trillion*.

Solving supply issues

The name “’rare earths’ is somewhat of a misnomer since these elements are quite abundant but typically found in low concentrations only. They are difficult to extract cost efficiently, which is equally valid for rare metals. Uncertainties in supply and the high cost associated with typical extraction methods, combined with their importance, implies that new extraction methods are necessary.

The Orbite Process addresses this, and we are now commercializing this technology to viably extract REE and RM from a broad variety of sources. These include aluminous clay, red mud and fly ash.

We have an indicated mineral resource of 1.04 billion tonnes at our Grande-Vallée deposit. A Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") Technical Report dated May 30, 2012, prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101, estimated that this deposit contains 563 ppm in REE & RM. Assuming that the concentration of REE & RM is uniform throughout the deposit, we potentially have access to 563,000 tonnes of these critical high-value materials.

* Source: Canadian Rare Earth Elements Network (CREEN)

High-Purity Alumina

HPA
Product Characteristics

Our technology allows us to deliver consistent product quality, while offering flexibility in product customization and a competitive total cost of use.

Characteristics include:

  • Purity: 4N to 5N5 (99.99% - 99.9995% purity)
  • Densification
  • Particle size distribution

For more information on our HPA product portfolio and customization options, please visit our Products page or contact Yves Noël at 514-744-6264, ext. 105 or ynoel@orbitetech.com.

Applications & Markets

HPA is a niche specialty product with beneficial characteristics, such as superior hardness, and high corrosion resistance, making it eminently suitable for a number of growing high-technology markets.

These include:

  • Sapphire crystal growth: for the production of LEDs and smart phone display screens
  • Separators for lithium-ion batteries
  • Specialty and medical ceramics
  • Specialty coatings

The above are high-end markets that are expected to show continued strong growth in the coming years.