Orbite shares stage huge comeback

Orbite shares stage huge comeback

Stock in Orbite Aluminae Inc (TSE:ORT) which mysteriously tanked yesterday regained most of the lost ground on Thursday.

In mid-day trade the Montreal-based developer was trading up 46.3% at $0.30 on the Toronto big board, with already more than a 6.7 million shares changing hands. The counter's free float is 265 million shares.

On Wednesday in equally heavy volumes starting in late afternoon trade, the $50 million company's share price dropped without any indication what or who may be behind the sell-off.

Orbite said in a press-release after the market close yesterday it is "unaware of any undisclosed material changes or corporate developments in its operations" that could have caused the move and have now asked for a formal investigation.

Orbite also announced further progress on its $105 million high-grade alumina plant with the signing of a contract for a new calcination system and that "the funds from the previously announced interest free loan from Economic Development Canada are being received over the next few days."

Orbite said "it continues to work towards a 12 month execution timeline, with commissioning in December 2014 and commercial operations to commence in January 2015. Full production capacity at 3 tpd is anticipated for Q1 2015."

A cost blow-out at the plant that decimated the stock price saw an overhaul of top management and board last year.

At the beginning of March the company announced a $10 million equity investment from the Government of Quebec on top of the $4 million loan from EDC.

Orbite was also able to raise $56 million late last year through a $16 million public offering and separate private placement to complete the construction of the plant.

The plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec, will use a patented technology that can extract alumina and by-products such as rare earth and rare metal oxides from feedstocks that include aluminous clay, kaolin, nepheline, bauxite, red mud and fly ash.

Orbite owns the Grande-Vallée aluminous claystone deposit that will feed another plant on the drawing board.