Orocobre Limited: Construction Update on the Olaroz Lithium Project
November 25, 2013 (Source: Marketwired) — Orocobre Limited (TSX:ORL)(ASX:ORE) (“Orocobre” or “the Company”) is pleased to advise that progress on the Olaroz Lithium Project continues to proceed on time and within budget.
In terms of physical progress the construction program is approximately 65% complete.
The brine pumping rate has reached approximately 150 l/s. The steady state operational rate required is 180l/s with a peak filling rate of approximately 220l/s to be achieved as the remaining bores are connected to the brine pumping and supply system.
The liming plant is approximately 80% complete with piping and electric works the focus during November. The liming plant is scheduled to be commissioned in December.
The gas pipeline has been completed. ‘Gas Atacama’ has inspected and approved the pipeline. Regulation stations are currently being installed.
Evaporation pond earthworks remain ahead of schedule. Evaporation pond 1B is on schedule to be lined in December and subsequently filled.
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Civil works are complete on the lithium processing plant, finished goods warehouse and the soda ash warehouse.
The electricity generation plant is currently under construction and due for completion in December. There are currently 3 diesel generators in service.
SAP has been fully implemented. Training and system refinement continues. Improvements and upgrades to the IT and telephony systems were conducted during October and November with a CCTV system also installed at Olaroz.
The project continues to proceed on time and within budget. A total of approximately US$147m has been spent or committed via executed contracts in the construction project to date.
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The Company continues to follow the “Jujuy First” strategy to successfully work with suppliers and the employment bureau to focus on the hiring of local people from the communities of Olaroz, Huancar, Puesto Sey, Pastos Chicos, Catua, Susques, Jama, El Toro, Coranzulí, San Juan and Abrapampa.
The project implementation is through EPCM (Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management) with a high proportion of local involvement through construction and supply contracts and local employment. The unique community and shared value policy continues to be a key success factor, training local people under the supervision of high quality experienced professionals.
The Olaroz lithium project is being developed by Orocobre (66.5%) with partners Toyota Tsusho Corporation (“TTC”) (25%) and the Jujuy Province mining and energy company, JEMSE (8.5%) with a construction budget of US$229m including contingency. First production is scheduled for the end of the second quarter, 2014.
About Orocobre Limited
Orocobre Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:ORL)(ASX:ORE) and is building a substantial Argentinian-based industrial minerals company through the construction and operation of its portfolio of lithium, potash and boron projects and facilities in the Puna region of northern Argentina. The Company is building in partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation the first large-scale, “greenfield” brine based lithium project in 20 years at its flagship Salar de Olaroz resource, with projected production of 17,500 tonnes per annum of low-cost battery grade lithium carbonate scheduled to commence in Q2 2014. The Company also wholly-owns Borax Argentina, an important regional borate producer. Orocobre is included in the S&P/ASX 300 Index and was named 2012 Mining Company of the Year by Argentine mining magazine Panorama Minero and the Fundacion para el Desarrollo de la Mineria Argentina (“Fundamin” or Foundation for Development of Argentina Mining). For further information, please visit www.orocobre.com
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking information contained in this release may include, but is not limited to, the draw down of finance for the Olaroz Project, the completion of construction at the Olaroz Project and the timing thereof, the commencement of commercial production at the Olaroz Project and the timing thereof, the cost of construction relative to the estimated capital cost of the Olaroz Project, the design production rate for lithium carbonate and potash at the Olaroz Project, the expected brine grade at the Olaroz Project, the expected operating costs at the Olaroz Project and the comparison of such expected costs to expected global operating costs, and the ongoing working relationship between Orocobre and the Province of Jujuy.
Such forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to the risk of further changes in government regulations, policies or legislation; the possibility that required concessions may not be obtained, or may be obtained only on terms and conditions that are materially worse than anticipated; the risk that the conditions precedent to draw down the project financing with Mizuho Corporate Bank will not be met; that further funding may be required, but unavailable, for the ongoing development of the Company’s projects; fluctuations or decreases in commodity prices; uncertainty in the estimation, economic viability, recoverability and processing of mineral resources; risks associated with weather patterns and impact on production rate; risks associated with construction and development of the Olaroz Project; unexpected capital or operating cost increases; uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones at the Olaroz Project; general risks associated with the feasibility and development of the Olaroz Project; as well as those factors disclosed in the Company’s Annual Report for the year ended June 30, 2013 filed at www.sedar.com.
The Company believes that the assumptions and expectations reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable. Assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: the timely receipt of required approvals and completion of agreements on reasonable terms and conditions; the ability of the Company to obtain financing as and when required and on reasonable terms and conditions; the prices of lithium and potash; and the ability of the Company to operate in a safe, efficient and effective manner. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all factors and assumptions which may have been used. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Raj Shah has professional experience working for over a half a dozen years at financial firms such as Merrill Lynch and First Allied Securities Inc., ... <Read more about Raj Shah>