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Montréal, Québec. March 30, 2012 – Orbite Aluminae Inc. (“Orbite” or the “Company”) (TSX: ORT) announced today that an audit (“Audit”) carried out by independent Qualified Persons approved by the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) has confirmed that the conclusions of the audited portions of Orbite’s Preliminary Economic Assessment 43-101 (scoping) published on January 12, 2012 (“PEA”) are valid. The Audit also refers to the fact that there is no evidence of fraudulent or exaggerated claims in terms of the quantities of rare earth element (“REE”) and rare metals (“RM”) referred to in the PEA despite the fact that data and analyses presented in the PEA often lack clarity and are sometimes improperly presented or placed.
The REE and RM are by-products closely associated with the alumina resources. The Audit concluded that the homogeneity of the claystone and mudstone units can be extended to the REE/RM content. Consequently, the REE/RM content of the alumina resource effectively corresponds to “Inferred Resources”, despite the fact that the quantity of data collected for the REE/RM is less than the quantity typically obtained to define a resource. The REE/RM does not constitute, per se, a distinct resource.
The Audit found that certain procedures already described in the PEA do not conform to industry best practices, including non-standard sampling procedures, but concluded that the foregoing should have only a minor impact, if any, on the overall conclusions of the PEA.
The Audit also suggests that the total resources referred to in the PEA should be partitioned into Measured, Indicated and Inferred categories. Such partition would not affect the total resource but will better categorize it in accordance with applicable the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (‘’CIM’’) definition of resources categories.
“I am satisfied with the homogeneity of the deposit and the correlation between the alumina and REE/RM. The REE and the RM are a by-product closely associated with the alumina resources. The reported grade of these REE/RM is in accordance with the CIM definition of “Inferred Resources”, declared one of the authors of the Audit, Mr. Alex Knox, geologist.
The Audit was carried out by engineering firm Roche Ltd., Consulting Group (“Roche”) and geologist Alex Knox, M.Sc. As previously announced, Alex Knox is one of Canada’s foremost rare earths experts, and his services as a rare earth expert are regularly retained by companies in Canada and around the world. Mr. Knox is a Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada. The representative of Roche is Guy Saucier Eng. with more than 27 years of mining experience in geology, exploration, and corporate development, and whose expertise includes resources evaluation and open-pit mine design and planning.
“We are pleased with the results of the Audit, our shareholders can once again rest reassured that the values reported in the PEA are supported by sufficient data and analysis. We intend to continue improving our methods and processes in order to meet and surpass industry best practices as outlined in the Audit,” declared the President of Orbite, Mr. Richard Boudreault. “Our priority is solidly focused on our core business, which is the mining and production of alumina using our patented and patent pending eco-friendly extraction technology,” he continued.
By May 31st, 2012, the Company will file a revised PEA compliant in all aspects with NI 43-101 pertaining to the information on mining projects as required by the Bureau de décision et révision (“BDR”) ruling issued on March 2, 2012.
Cease Trade Order
In accordance with the ruling of the BDR issued on March 2, 2012, the Company and the AMF intend to request that the cease trade order (the “Order”) with respect to the Company's securities be lifted. The request to that effect is expected to be presented to the BDR within the next few days.
The conclusions of the Audit are summarized as follows by its authors:
- There is no evidence of fraud;
- Sections 7 to 12 are based on sufficient data and analysis to usefully illustrate the geological parameters of the deposit. Nevertheless, these data are often unclear, sometimes poorly presented and misplaced;
- In relation with these sections, the audit highlighted that some procedures described in the PEA do not conform to industry best practise and should be corrected. However, considering the homogeneity and the characteristics of the deposits, this should have only minor impact, if any, on the overall conclusions considering a PEA study level;
- In relation with the process, bulk samples used in the pilot plant test work are at a minimum “indicative” of the mineralisation and, although being preliminary, the results presented in the documents that were reviewed are in accordance with the level of accuracy expected in a PEA;
- The alumina resources discussed in the PEA include by product grades of SiO2, Fe2O3, MgO, mixed Oxides (CaO, K2O, Na2O) and REE/RM, which should be partitioned into Measured, Indicated and Inferred resources categories, instead of just Indicated category as stated in the PEA;
- After considering the available REE/RM data, statistical analysis and third party opinions, we concluded that the REE/RM grade is remarkably consistent through both of the resources units (Claystone and Mudstone). It is reasonable to assign an REE/+RM grade in the range of 480-500 ppm to the Claystone unit and 400-410 ppm to the Mudstone unit;
- We concluded that no independent REE/RM resource is present as such since the REE/RM are a by-product closely associated with the alumina resources. The reported grade of these REE/RM is in accordance with the CIM definition of Inferred Resources. It is a geologically reasonable extrapolation from limited sampling data in this very particular context.
- As clearly stated in the PEA, natural gas is not currently available in the project’s area. An alternate scenario with an available fuel needs to be evaluated at the feasibility stage. However, in the event that a different fuel was to be used, the PEA’s overall capital budget allocation is in the right order of magnitude.
- Based on the information reviewed, the conclusions presented in relation with the audited portions of the PEA remain valid. The authors do not express any opinion on the other sections of the PEA and on parameters not covered by the audit scope.
The complete version of the Audit can be found at: www.orbitealuminae.com.
Orbite owns 100% of the mining rights on a Grande-Vallée property of approximately 6 441 hectares, the site of an aluminous clay deposit located 23 km south of Grande-Vallée, and a 2 600 m2 full scale pilot plant in Cap Chat, in the Gaspé region. An NI 43-101 report issued in August 2011 identified an Indicated Resource of between 800 million and one billion tonnes of aluminous clay in part of the deposit containing a series of mineral elements. The Company also owns the intellectual property rights to a unique Canada and U.S. patented process for extracting alumina from various types of aluminous ores and for which patents are also pending in other countries. www.orbitealuminae.com
Certain information contained in this document may include “forward-looking information”. Without limiting the foregoing, the information and any forward-looking information may include statements regarding projects, costs, objectives and future returns of the Company or hypotheses underlying these items. In this document, words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “likely”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “estimate” and similar words and the negative form thereof are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times at or by which, such future performance will be achieved. Forward-looking statements and information are based on information available at the time and/or the Company management’s good-faith beliefs with respect to future events and are subject to known or unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other unpredictable factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. These risks uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, those described in the section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) entitled “Risk and Uncertainties” as filed on March 22, 2012 on SEDAR , and could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, nor does it undertake, any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements contained in this document to reflect subsequent information, events or circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Tel.: 514-395-0375, ext. 25
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