Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2013

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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ORBITE Core samples of aluminous clay taken from the Grande-Vallée deposit demonstrate its homogeneity. nous clay from Orbite's deposit in Grande-Vallée, Quebec. The 34 km2 deposit, a small portion of the corporation's total claims, contains an indicated resource of more than 1 billion tons of aluminous clay. During March, Orbite shipped its first commercial samples of HPA with a minimum purity of 4N (99.99%) to customers in Europe, Asia and North America. The company has already received more than 25 confirmed orders for HPA samples ranging from 4N to 5N purity from clients throughout the world. Sample sizes range from 1 to 100 kg and the client tests can take several months to complete. The global market for HPA has typically been for a 4N product but is shifting toward higher purities of 4N5 and 5N over the next few years. This market is driven in part by the phasing out of incandescent lights over the next few years throughout most major world markets, which is increasing the demand for LED lights containing substrates manufactured with HPA. Following the installation of additional alumina calcination equipment, which is ongoing, the HPA production capacity is expected to gradually increase from less than 1 metric ton per day (mt/d) to 3 mt/d and then finally all the way to 5 mt/d. Orbite plans to offer HPA powder and HPA granules ranging from 4N (99.99%) to an eventual 6N (99.9999%) purity. The company will also be expected to produce gallium and scandium oxides once a rare-metal recovery circuit is completed. The HPA plant is also a showcase for the technologies that will eventually be used at the company's SGA plant. During February 2013, the Quebec Ministry of Finance and Economics (MFE) named Orbite winner of the PerformAS Award, which recognizes Orbite's achievements in furthering innovation and development of the chemical industry within the Province of Quebec. There are currently at least 50 active red mud sites around the world. There are more than 100 inactive sites. Reclaiming red mud is perceived by the aluminum industry as the biggest environmental concern facing the industry. Veolia will either work with alumina refiners or governments looking to remediate legacy deposits, which could be transformed into resources for a fee. It is already working with many countries on environmental regulations. "Veolia's greatest strength is their capacity to operate these large projects and operate them safely and to secure the IP accordingly," Boudreault said. The Orbite technology could also be used to remediate and reclaim other industrial waste, including fly ash from coal combustion. www.e-mj.com JUNE 2013 • E&MJ 91

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