Montreal-based Orbite Aluminae (ORT-T) (previously named “Exploration Orbite”) has been given the go-ahead to extract a bulk sample of up to 3,000 tonnes of aluminous clay over the next year from its Grande-Vallée claystone deposit in Quebec.
The authorization from Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife allows Orbite to extract sufficient quantities of mineral substances from Grande-Vallée expanded testing, and enables the junior to build a sample product inventory.
“This gives us a large amount of material that we can work with to experiment and establish the high-purity alumina facility, which we plan to have in the next few months in Cap-Chat,” Richard Boudreault, the company’s president and chief executive, explained in a telephone interview. “It is extremely good news.”
Boudreault adds that the authorization is also “probably a good sign that we’re on our way to getting the full mining lease,” which he says can take a year from the time the documents are filed with the government. The company has already filed its documents and is waiting to hear whether any other documents
Orbite has patented a process to extract metallurgical alumina and high-purity alumina from the Grande-Vallée deposit, which is in the Gaspé region, 32 km northeast of Murdochville.
In May the company produced its first samples of aluminum from alumina at its 28,000-sq.-ft production facility in Cap-Chat, also in the Gaspé.
Orbite holds 100% of the mining rights on its Grande-Vallée property, which has an indicated resource of more than 1 billion tonnes of aluminous clay in part of the deposit. The company says the deposit represents a half-century of imported Canadian alumina.
“We’re on time, on schedule, and on budget for developing our high-purity facility by 2012 and our smelter-grade facility by 2013, barring any unforseen economic issues, or if the market collapses,” Boudreault says.
He believes production of high-purity alumina could start near the end of 2012 and production of smelter-grade alumina “hopefully” before the end of 2013.
The junior is trading at $2 per share within a 52-week trading range of 28.5¢ on Sept. 24, 2010, and $5.69 on April 12, 2011.