Orbite Aluminae Inc. ("Orbite") and Veolia Environmental Services ("Veolia") signed an exclusive worldwide collaborative agreement for the treatment and recycling of red mud generated by industrial alumina production using the Bayer process. The terms of the partnership include the construction of the first plant to treat red mud using Orbite's patented process.
Red mud is a caustic waste that is difficult to treat because existing purification processes are complicated, costly, and ineffective. Red mud often remains stored in situ, which increases the risk of accidental spills. To meet this environmental and complex challenge facing the aluminum industry, Orbite and Veolia Environmental Services endeavour to bring the solution to treat the red mud stockpiled around the world in an economically and socially sustainable manner. The Orbite process is the only proven and commercially viable eco-friendly technology for treating Bayer process tailings; it recovers their entire commercial value and can extend the lifespan of Bayer plants.
Orbite is a Canadian company whose unique green technologies are setting new standards for the aluminum industry. These technologies allow for the extraction of smelter-grade alumina and high-purity alumina, as well as other products such as rare earths and rare metals, from various feedstocks including aluminous clay and bauxite, all without producing red mud.
Veolia Environmental Services is the only worldwide integrated operator covering the entire value chain of waste management (collection, sanitation, treatment and recovery).
"Demand for alumina continues to grow on a global scale," commented Mr. Richard Boudreault, President and CEO of Orbite, "and worldwide stocks of untreated red mud are estimated at nearly three billion tonnes. 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 aluminum industry."
"Our unmatched presence in the waste value chain serves a long-term vision that drives us to build sustainable partnerships such as the one drawn up with Orbite. They are the key to best mining practice and guaranteeing supply that Veolia Environmental Services can bring to meet rising industry demand which is a major environmental challenge" said Pascal Decary, Senior Executive Vice-President of Veolia Environmental Services.