Orbite’s game-changing technology takes this waste, extracts all value from it, returning only a small fraction of inert residue

Through its waste monetization initiative, Orbite believes its technology will play a key role in addressing a number of substantial environmental liabilities:

Red Mud

Red mud is the caustic by-product from the Bayer process, the principal method of producing alumina from bauxite. The Bayer process has been around since the 1880s, and is essentially unchanged since then. Globally, approximately 3 billion tonnes of red mud is stored, generally in open-air tailings ponds. While no viable alternatives have been developed to utilize this material, annually, some 120 million additional tonnes are being produced. Red mud can contain up to 25% alumina, with other valuable constituents, such as scandium, gallium, titanium, hematite and rare earths present too. To date, this value is discarded.

 

Fly Ash

Fly ash is one of the waste products generated by coal-fired power stations. Similar to red mud, fly ash contains a high concentration of alumina (up to 35%), as well as other valuable materials. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Coal Centre, there are 7,000 coal-fired power units worldwide, spread over 2,300 sites, of which about 620 are located in China. It is estimated that 40-50% of coal combustion by-products are re-used, primarily in low-value applications, with the remainder being sent to stockpiles. Fly ash contains alumina, silica, iron, rare metals and other valuable elements, but no viable remediation technology has previously existed.

Orbite estimates that between 495 million and 650 million tonnes of fly ash are produced annually, a figure that could increase by 50% by 2030 according to the World Coal Association.

 

Mine Tailings

Mine tailings can contain a large quantity of valuable elements. A good example is the tailings from serpentinite mining, which contains considerable quantities of magnesium and other valuable materials. At this time, these resources are not exploited.

 

Footprint

Potential to improve the environmental footprint of an entire sector. The Orbite Process can be used to produce smelter grade alumina, the raw material for the production of aluminum, from red mud, fly ash and other waste streams, as well as from atypical source minerals for which no economically viable and environmentally acceptable technology exists today. As opposed to the Bayer process, the Orbite Process does not produce red mud. Additionally, the Company anticipates that its process will consume less electricity, further reducing the environmental footprint. Longer term, Orbite sees potential for its process to be adopted by the alumina industry, contributing greatly to improving the environmental performance of this sector.

 

Waste Monetization

Transforming liabilities into assets. The Orbite process makes remediation profitable for the waste owner.

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Specialty Products

Addressing supply issues. The Orbite process allows for the production of high-purity products for high-end applications.

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