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Orbite claims first new commercial North American rare earths production

Browse:time  Update:2012-08-09

Orbite Aluminae has successfully extracted the first commercial samples of heavy rare earth oxides, gallium and scandium from its aluminous clay deposit in Grande-Vallee, Quebec. With its patented and patent pending, commercially-proven technology, the Quebec clean tech company says it is set to become the first new commercial North American rare earths, gallium and scandium producer, ahead of competitors. By 2013, it plans to offer heavy rare earth separation services to third parties and to produce its own resources by 2014.

Rare earths (dysprosium, erbium, neodymium, praseodymium etc) and rare metals (gallium, scandium, yttrium) are products of high commercial value considered scarce and seldom available in high enough concentrations to be profitable. Orbite says its technology allows for the low-cost extraction of rare earths and rare metals using an ecological and environmentally-friendly alumina extraction process. Orbite has evaluated the content of its Grande-Vallee aluminous clay deposit at more than 22% (ratio to total rare earths) in heavy rare earths and has noted a strong presence of scandium. To conduct testing for the extraction of individual rare earth and rare metal samples, Orbite retained the services of European companies CMI-UVK and MEAB, which validated extraction rates of more than 93% purity, ie gallium at 93.86%; scandium at 93.11%; yttrium at 87.47%; neodymium and dysprosium, both at 99.9%; cerium at 99.5%; and gallium oxide at 99.99%.

“Our rare earths deposit holds significant commercial potential, and we expect to be the first in North America to offer a heavy rare earth extraction and separation technique as a derivative of our alumina production. Orbite’s entry into the global rare earths market should also help to reduce the economic risks associated with the concentration of separation techniques in China,” affirmed Richard Boudreault, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orbite Aluminae.


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