Orocobre Limited ("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 70% complete.
The brine pumping rate has reached approximately 190 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 commissioned.
The liming plant commissioning schedule commenced on the 15th of December.
The gas pipeline has been completed. The precommissioning schedule for the gas pipeline commenced on the 13th of December.
Evaporation pond earthworks remain ahead of schedule. Evaporation pond 1B is on schedule for lining to be completed in December.
Construction works continue on the lithium processing plant, finished goods warehouse and the soda ash warehouse.
The electricity generation plant is currently under construction and is on schedule for completion in December. There are currently 3 diesel generators in service.
The project continues to proceed on time and within budget. A total of approximately US$156m has been spent or committed via executed contracts in the construction project to date.
Orocobre also took part in the International Seminar of Engineering and Construction in the Mining Industry in Buenos Aires during the 28th and 29th of November. Country Manager, Jose de Castro was one of the speakers.
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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.