LONDON Orbite Aluminae Inc. is close to completing construction of its high-purity alumina plant in Quebec and has initiated commissioning on many sections of the facility, the Montreal-based alumina start-up said Tuesday.
All of the "critical equipment" is in place and the company is on schedule to begin commercial production in the spring, it said.
"Initiation of the commissioning is an important milestone for the high-purity alumina plant. As a result, we expect to achieve initial production in the near term and commercial production, as planned, for the start of the second quarter 2013," Orbite president and chief executive officer Richard Boudreault said in a statement.
Production capacity will gradually increase from less than 1 tonne per day of high-purity alumina at the beginning of 2013 to 3 tonnes per day by mid-2013 and 5 tonnes per day at this time next year, Orbite said.
The facility will also produce gallium and scandium oxides once a recovery circuit is completed in mid-2013, Orbite said.
The company is also moving forward with its plans for an aluminum smelter-grade alumina plant, which Boudreault said is now undergoing a feasibility study. The metallurgical alumina plant is expected to begin production by the end of 2013 or 2014.