Further to its press release of January 16, 2017, Orbite Technologies Inc. has provided an update on the company's progress with the production of high purity alumina (HPA).
In an earlier production run announced on January 16, 2017, close to 2 tonnes of HPA was produced over three days.
Feedstock material fed to the calcination section of the plant consisted of aluminium chloride hexahydrate (ACH) with a purity of approximately 4N7 (HPA equivalent), produced in the digestion and crystallization sections of the plant. The purity of the HPA produced using this source material was also approximately 4N7. This indicates that next to no impurities were picked up in the calcination section of the plant, a significant and better than expected result as an increase of impurities in the first few cycles was anticipated.
Based on these findings and the company's proven ability to produce 5N+ ACH crystals, Management is confident of being able to produce HPA consistently at 5N+ purity levels once the higher purity ACH batches are introduced into the calcination system.
Additionally, the company has obtained confirmation that its process is capable of producing HPA at temperatures lower than the design temperatures for the decomposer (800 degrees C) and calcinator (1200 degrees C), fully in line with intellectual property developed and filed by Orbite. Management believes that this finding will also contribute to lower operating costs.
Following this analysis of the HPA produced and repairs to the heating element system, the company will commence reheating, this week, the ovens of the calcination system to operating temperatures, following which it will continue with the production of HPA.
The company has also received its first two commercial purchase orders for the supply of HPA, the first steps in filling the company's order pipeline. "Relative purity parity between ACH crystals and HPA is something we had hoped for, and we are pleased to have achieved this so early in the use of the calcination system," stated Glenn Kelly, CEO of Orbite. "Additionally, our ability to produce HPA at lower temperatures than originally anticipated is likely to make a positive contribution towards our bottom line once we are in full commercial operation. These recent results, we believe, continue to provide confirmation of the strength of the Orbite process. With the restart of the calcination system, our next step will be to ramp up production to commercial output of 1 tpd over the coming weeks and to nameplate capacity thereafter. Finally, we are pleased to have booked our first two commercial orders. While relatively small at this stage of the relationship with these customers, these orders are within our anticipated sales price range and signal the true commencement of our commercial activities. We expect orders for larger quantities as production grows.