Orbite Aluminae hails process to treat 'toxic' red muds
Orbite Aluminae touts a patented process that could be used by aluminum industry heavyweights to treat red mud.
Posted: Wednesday , 01 Aug 2012
HALIFAX, NS (MINEWEB) -
Orbite Aluminae (TSX: ORT) said it had developed a patented process to treat leftover waste from the aluminum industry, turning what is known as "red mud" into a "dry, inert, and most importantly, environmentally neutral residue that is less than 90% the volume of its original state."
Through the process Orbite said it could extract "high commercial value products" left behind in most red muds, including alumina, which can make up a significant proportion of red mud, as well as rare earths.
"Orbite's team of engineers has verified these results using red mud samples with properties characteristic common to those that currently confront the alumina industry," Orbite stated.
In a late June interview with Mineweb, Richard Boudreault, Orbite's president and CEO, spoke about the company's work on the method and said Orbite's technique may even generate profit for users of it.
"We have done some numbers and it can generate a payback after a few years," Boudreault then said, adding, however, that "It depends very much on the site."
The process is related to a method Orbite developed to extract alumina and rare earth oxides from an atypical clay-source of alumina in Quebec.
Orbite is building a plant to produce high-purity alumina using feed from the clay deposit and expects to commission it in late 2012.