Game-changing technology addressing traditional inefficiencies.
The Orbite Process extracts all value from a wide variety of feedstocks, including industrial waste.
This is very different from traditional resource processing, where typically only one or a few valuable materials are extracted, with the remaining value discarded in the waste.
A good example of this is the Bayer Process, which is the traditional method to extract alumina from bauxite.
The only product that comes from this process, which has remained essentially unchanged since it was introduced in the 1880s, is alumina.
Bauxite, however, typically contains silicon, iron, manganese, titanium and zirconium, and can contain more than 20 other elements, including rare metals and rare earths.
The Bayer process discards all of this value in the form of red mud.
The Orbite Process is a game changer that has the ability to extract all of this value, returning only a small fraction of inert residue.
Waste monetization: turning liabilities into assets.
The minerals processing industry is inefficient and generates waste, such as red mud, fly ash and mine tailings. Globally, huge stockpiles of these wastes are maintained and substantial quantities of waste are generated annually. To date, only limited means are available to reuse and remediate this waste viably. The rate at which an industry is willing to adopt remedial technologies often depends on economic and other legislation-driven incentives. This creates considerable uncertainties (what if legislation will change with a new administration? How long will these incentives apply?). The economics of the Orbite Process do not hinge on the presence of legislation and incentives. The Company expects its proposed plants to be independently profitable through the sale of a suite of products extracted from the waste. This presents a strong economic case to owners of the waste. Orbite turns what are environmental and economic liabilities into assets. In short, the Orbite Process can monetize waste.
Orbite can address supply issues in rare earths and rare metals.
The unusual characteristics of rare earths and rare metals have allowed for the emergence of increasingly critical applications in sectors such as electronics and energy. The generally high costs associated with isolating these materials, as well as the dominant supply position of China, have resulted in growing uncertainties with regards to long-term supply. Many of these materials can be found in red mud and fly ash, as well as in Orbite’s resource deposits in Québec. Through its technology that can extract all of these materials in high purity form, the Company has the potential of becoming a key player in this sector.
Strong interest to collaborate from large players in the industry, such as Veolia and Glencore.
The Orbite Process is recognized globally. We are approached on a regular basis by companies expressing an interest in our technology. In a number of cases, these companies have expressed an interest in partnering with us on commercialization. We have a 10-year, 100% off-take agreement with Glencore for the alumina produced from our proposed SGA plant. However, Glencore’s interest goes further and we are looking to initiate discussions on forming a deeper partnership. The same goes for waste monetization, where we have received several indications of interest and are currently in discussions with Veolia on converting our collaboration agreement into a formal partnership.
Significant deposits of aluminous clay (> 1 billion tonnes) also containing substantial quantities of rare earths and rare metals.
At our Grande-Vallée flagship deposit, we have an indicated resource of approximately 1 billion tonnes of aluminous clay with an average alumina concentration of 23.13%. The site furthermore contains substantial absolute quantities of rare earths and rare metals. Though commodities are our third priority after HPA and waste monetization, this constitutes a very significant opportunity for Orbite and provides visibility on long-term value creation.
Portfolio of high-value specialty products.
Initially focusing on high purity alumina, a high-end niche product used for specialty applications in LED lighting, electronic screens and Li-ion battery packs, Orbite intends to expand its product portfolio with highly sought after products, such as scandium, rare metals and rare earths. By building up a comprehensive portfolio of specialty products, Orbite has the potential to become a key supplier of critical materials for important emerging technologies in electronics, energy and other sectors.