Orocobre Limited ("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, 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 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.