BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/05/13 -- 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 has accelerated and continues to advance according to schedule and within budget.
During February the following tasks were completed:
-- Earthworks and platform construction for the camp, customs yard, lime plant and effluent treatment plant-- Fencing for the customs yard-- Vegetation removal at 5A and 5B evaporation ponds-- Aquaduct pipe manufacturing
The following tasks are in progress or commenced in March:
-- Manufacturing of the worker's accommodation and dining pavilions-- Manufacturing of the lime plant conveyor belt-- Manufacturing of the ball mill for the lime plant-- Installation of the camp effluent plant-- Erection of the water pumping station equipment-- Vegetation removal at evaporation ponds-- Construction of evaporation ponds-- Road and drilling platform construction on the salar-- Manufacturing of lime plant silo and tanks-- Mobilisation of the concrete plant
Approximately $77m of the US$229m capital budget has been committed or spent (up from $65m last month) and all major contracts awarded to this point remain on, or under, budget.
The company continues 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 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 second quarter, 2014.
Additional photos are available on the Company's website www.orocobre.com.
About Orocobre Limited
Orocobre Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (ASX: ORE)(TSX: ORL), 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.