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Orbite loss narrows in ’13, but quarterly loss triples

Keywords: Tags  Orbite Aluminae, Glenn Kelly, alumina, earnings, aluminous clay, red mud, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — Orbite Aluminae Inc. narrowed its full-year loss in 2013 despite costs related to the construction of a high-purity alumina production facility.

The Montreal-based company, which produces alumina from aluminous clay rather than traditional bauxite, posted a net loss of Canadian $15 million ($13.6 million) last year, down 11 percent from a C$16.9-million loss in 2012.

But Orbite’s fourth-quarter net loss tripled to C$9 million ($8.1 million) from a C$3-million loss in the same period a year earlier. The red ink was due in part to equipment disassembly and handling costs, the company said.

Because it is a “development stage” company, Orbite has no revenues. The company said it instead relies on issuing shares, debt or other sources of financing to fund overhead.

“Despite significant challenges in 2013, we are now sufficiently capitalized to execute on our main priorities. We believe that following a transformative year, we have turned the corner and are in a good position to capitalize on the opportunities our technology creates,” Orbite chief executive officer Glenn Kelly said in a statement released with earnings data March 17.

Orbite is working to build a high-purity alumina facility in Cap-Chat, Quebec, that will use aluminous clay, or “red mud,” as a feedstock (, Nov. 15). Red mud is a caustic by-product of traditional aluminum production.

The company said it is working to convert a pilot high-purity alumina facility into a larger plant but the expansion project has suffered delays.

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