BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/23/13 -- Orocobre Limited (TSX: ORL)(ASX: ORE) ("Orocobre" or "the Company") is pleased to provide a progress report on the construction of the Company's flagship Olaroz lithium project.
The construction of the Olaroz lithium project continues to advance according to schedule and within budget.
Over the past month the following tasks were completed:
-- Dining area and labour bedroom modules-- Sewage treatment plant construction-- Lime plant conveyor construction - Area 4000-- Concrete supplier mobilization
The following will be completed by months end:
-- Concrete Plant installation-- Contractors camp relocation-- Sewage treatment plant installation
The following tasks are in progress:
-- Ball mill for the lime plant-- Equipment and mechanical installation at pumping station and water intake-- Tolas (Vegetation) Removal and recycling at the pond area-- Road and platform construction on the salar-- Evaporation ponds construction-- Lime plant silos, tanks and other facilities construction
Approximately $87m of the US$229m capital budget has been committed or spent (up from $77m last month) and all major contracts awarded to this point remain on, or under, budget.
The following tasks will continue through April and May:
-- Road and platform construction on the salar-- Evaporation ponds construction-- Production wells drilling-- Grounding and concrete foundations for Lime Plant-- Aqueduct construction-- Gas Pipeline construction-- Brine pipeline construction-- Protection channels construction-- Camp modules installation-- Warehouse Area fence construction
Contracts issued so far are running to schedule and within budget.
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, Coranzuli, San Juan and Abrapampa. The engagement of the community also extends to the provision of health services and programs to encourage the continued education of young people.
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 as a key success factor, training local people with supervision by high quality experienced professionals.
The Olaroz lithium project is being developed by Orocobre (66.5%) with is 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. The project is fully funded with up to US$275m of funding available via US$82.8m of equity funding from TTC and Orocobre and US$192m of project finance for Mizuho Corporate Bank. 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 has recently been 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 le Mineria Argentina ("Fundamin" or Foundation for Development of Argentina Mining). For further information, please visit www.orocobre.com.