While shares of Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX: ORT.TO) are nowhere near the level they were at two months ago when they were trading as high as 2.95 shareholders can take solace in the fact that those shares are also markedly better than the 1.53 level they hit last month. Currently moving around the 1.94 range ORT.TO is ahead of their 50-day moving average of 1.87 but continues to trail their 200-day moving average of 2.24.
With that being said ORT.TO does appear to be moving forward, picking up considerable investor attention last week when they distributed a press release announcing that they were adhering to their business plan and timeline by beginning of the construction of their high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec.
Of course the process of converting the pilot plant “to a state-of-the-art full-scale facility” actually began in late May so the timing of the release was a bit odd. What may have caught the eyes of investors was the projected production of the HPA plant as ORT.TO stated that the initial design and associated costs had been based on a one tonne per day HPA production capacity but that facility is now expected to reach three tonnes of high-purity alumina per day within 12 months of its commissioning without requiring further significant capital expenditures.”
Those revised production figures are impressive as too is the aggressive construction plans outlined by ORT.TO which will be carried out in four phases: “the foundation and infrastructure will be completed by the end of July 2012; the structure and exterior will be finished in September; the mechanical systems and electrical installations will follow, and commissioning of the plant is slated for December 2012.”
To actually meet these plans ORT.TO has contracted a number of expert suppliers that include Gastier as the general contractor “to perform and manage the construction project and to ensure that the plant is ready to begin production in December 2012 as per the anticipated schedule”; Canam Group to carry out the design and construction of the new building; the European firm Outotec to complete the plant’s high-purity alumina calcination work; and Emerson Process Management has been charged with process control instrumentation for the HPA plant.
In addition to the construction of the HPA facility in Cap Chat, ORT.TO recently announced the start of its exploratory drilling campaign aimed at upgrading its resources and developing new exploitation zones, primarily targeting aluminous clay and rare earth elements, on their Grande-Vallee property.
ORT.TO detailed this campaign in their June 6, 2012 press release noting, “An initial 3,000 m to 4,000 m drilling campaign in the Marin Sector is intended to upgrade part of the current indicated in-pit resources in order to complement certain elements of the ongoing feasibility study with respect to mining operations. Most of the holes aim to firm up the resources within the limits of the proposed pit contour. Other drill holes will serve to confirm the previously indicated strong alumina and rare earths continuity in the aluminous clays on the immediate NNE outside boundary of the proposed pit. A few additional holes will be drilled to provide a better understating of the fault patterns and their behavior in the surrounding pit area of the Marin Sector.”
The company has also recently initiate a detailed geological and mapping survey on new claims that represent a nine fold increase in surface over the Grand-Vallee property which may be followed by an exploratory drilling campaign during the fall season in the most interesting target areas already identified.
Investors should expect to see plenty of updates regarding the progress of ORT.TO in the near future as they have a lot on their plate. This could certainly help boost the company’s share price if they are able to adhere to their timeline and return positive results from their campaigns.