Orbite gets a mention in WSJ:
You do need an account to view the article, though.
There is enough info on here to identify me anyways so I'll just do it formally to save any perhaps deranged individuals with unhealthy conspiracy obsessions the bother.
Associate Clinical Professor
University of Alberta
MD, Queen's University 2001
FRCPC in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2006
Program Director of the residency program 2008-11
I have already stated my clinical areas of practice. I hope I never see any of you as patients since that would mean tragedy has befallen you.
this reminds me of the recent Timminco story. It too was a quebec micro processing newly-discovered metals. Theirs was a revolutionary new silica for coating solar panels fast, thin & cheap.
sprott was huge in timminco. Eric sprott himself used to attend shareholders' meetings.
company went bankrupt. No silica after all.
BTW in that globe article, where are the analysts praising orbite, other than sprott ? who with a formal metallurgical engineering degree has ever actually gotten into the plant to verify the procedure ?
vu du bol/
seen from the porridge bowl
the Orbite story may turn out to be a metallurgical revolution or it may turn out to be a scandal-shocker like Timminco. It is still early days, so it's far too soon to know how the opposing camps will play out.
the plunge straight down from 3.69 to 2.65 today - a loss of 28% over past 2 weeks - is being attributed to more than the Globe's doubtful article or the obvious skepticism of one leading analyst at Byron Capital.
i thought i'd look into the history, since Orbite is a native son.
the technology - processing valuable alumina & other valuable metals out of common luminous clay - is not Orbite's, although they have contributed a modification to the refining process & have obtained a patent for their innovation.
a string of patents dates back to 2 french engineers at aix-en-provence in france in 1969 who appear to have been financed by french aluminum giant Pechiney. Their patent involved extracting hi-grade aluminium & smelter grade aluminium out of clay by drenching the clays with strong hydrochloric acid. I believe in some versions over the years the concoction was superheated. The approach was trialled in the US but failed. The main problem, for over 40 years now, has always been rapid corrosion of the entire production system by the acid.
here is the patent history:
Orbite's highly-publicized project at murdochville was preceded by an unnoticed engineering team from Laval University that worked throughout the preceding decade at murdochville, quebec, trying its version of the clay + acid procedure. In 2004 an engineer named Valerie Ouellette obtained a PhD in engineering from Laval for her clay extraction project at murdochville.
enter Orbite with considerable hyping & promotion. So far, despite their need for capital, no top-ranked investment banker in resource stocks other than Sprott has agreed to back them.
last month an article in Aluminium Today further inflamed the pump-posters, who have flooded all stock forums including this one. Here is the article. Orbite CEO Richard Boudreault claims that his company's use of all-glass-lined equipment will solve the acid corrosion problem. I find myself wondering how costly it would be to build & maintain the ultimate industrial-sized fabrication facility they have in mind, given the customized equipment such a facility would need.
Last edited by humble_pie; 2012-10-05 at 11:01 AM.
the recent resignation of chief scientific officer Joel Fournier from orbite is a blow to the company imho.
it was Fournier who learned of laval university engineer Ouellette's work for her doctoral dissertation during the previous decade at murdochville quebec, as she attempted to extract alumina & other metals from clay shales. From the beginning of orbite's involvement, it was Fournier who drove the project.
Well, the make or break year for Orbite has started and they are supposed to have some announcements about the operation of their new Cap-Chat facility coming out this month. Thought I would share this tidbit of news that came out today that Orbite was named the National Winner of the 2012 Regional Awards for New Technology from the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).
Any thoughts about this award - does it require some proof of concept that could help validate what the company is trying to do?
News about first tonne of production of HPA at 4N purity. They will try to refine their bulk process to get to 5N on their next batch:
HPA is the big draw to this company because of how expensive it is to produce by all presently known processes outside of ORT's.
This should mostly de-risk their methodology which has been questioned by many in the financial and mining world's.
The next steps would be to increase production, get financing for SGA plant and hopefully start to get a licencing stream of income from their red mud remediation process. The potential grand slam would be the ability to get high purities of individual rare-earths as they claimed in this past fall.
Finally some news about looking into red mud remediation which is a major potential ecological disaster. Red mud is what is left after the Bayer process for producing alumina by utilizing bauxite. No one has a way of dealing with the mud so all alumina makers have huge pools of red mud that they basically have to store forever. ORT developed a way of dealing with these tailings and actually producing alumina from them and generate inert tailings. It would be a huge environmental coup if they can pull off a commercial way of remediating red mud. They have now signed an agreement with Veolia, a giant French waste management firm to pursue red mud remediation:
I hope they pull it off. The world will be a little safer without the huge pools of this stuff lying around. ORT needed a giant company to get behind them and VE has a market cap of around $6.4B. What is interesting is VE had mostly been looking for ways to trim some of their operations and focus on their expertise in water and waste management. Yet here they will construct a plant to use ORT's technology at a commercial and industrial scale. This would seem to be another feather in the cap of ORT and further validates their processes as legitimate as I doubt VE would commit to this JV without vetting them.
I have no idea how much if any profits this venture may produce for ORT. I just think the validation from a major player is a big win from them after RUSAL spoke disparagingly of their chances of being able to produce commerical amounts of SGA using their process last week.
This has been one fascinating soap opera.