LONDON Alumina producer
Orbite Aluminae Inc. and French waste handler Veolia
Environmental Services have signed a collaborative agreement
for the treatment and recycling of alumina production
wasteotherwise known as red mudusing Orbites
Montreal-based Orbite last year
announced it had discovered a way to produce alumina from red
mud after it successfully transformed a combination of red mud
and low-grade bauxite into alumina in a laboratory test.
Red mud contains iron, silica,
calcium, titanium and aluminum, as well as small quantities of
base metals. Only a fraction of globally produced red mud is
recycled, with the rest stored in special disposal areas.
"Demand for alumina continues to
grow on a global scale, and worldwide stocks of untreated red
mud are estimated at nearly 3 billion tonnes," Orbite chief
executive officer Richard Boudreault said in a statement. "By
partnering together, Orbite and Veolia become the global leader
in the treatment and recycling of red mud, which is one of the
main environmental challenges for the aluminium industry."
The terms of the partnership
include the construction of the first plant to treat red
Moscow-based United Co. Rusal
said a year ago that it would build a prototype facility for
the recycling of red mud at its Urals aluminum smelter in
Russias Sverdlovsk region, planned for launch in October
In March last year, Rusal signed
a memorandum of understanding with Orbite with the aim of
forming a joint venture to develop an aluminous clay deposit in
Grande-Vallée, Québec, which included the
potential for the construction of an alumina refinery.
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Metal