ASX/TSX ANNOUNCEMENT: Orocobre Provides Olaroz Lithium Project Construction Update

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:42pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Marketwire

Orocobre Limited

February 18, 2013 - 07:41:54 PM

ASX/TSX ANNOUNCEMENT: Orocobre Provides Olaroz Lithium Project Construction
Update

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 18, 2013) - 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 with significant progress made, in particular
with earthworks for the evaporation ponds, road construction on the salar, and
earthworks for the camp and other infrastructure. 

The main road across the salar is currently under construction while 2
kilometres of the auxiliary road to access the bore field from the east has
been completed to allow access to the first two (of thirteen) drill platforms
where drilling has commenced. 

Clearing of vegetation to allow for the construction of evaporation ponds over
an area of 4.2 square kilometres is 55% complete and evaporation pond
construction is progressing well. Preparation of the site for the camp is well
underway. Impact from the seasonal rains at this time of year has in general
been positive with increased moisture content providing benefits in soil
compaction.

Approximately $65m of the US$229m capital budget has been committed or spent
and all major contracts awarded to this point remain on, or under, budget. 

Currently 230 construction workers are at site (up from the January figure of
142) with a peak expected of 400 by mid-2013. 

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 its
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

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 includes, 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 Information Form for the year ended June 30,
2012 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.

ABN 31 112 589 910

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: 
Australia and Asia
Orocobre Limited
David Hall
Business Development Manager
M: +61 7 3871 3985
dhall@orocobre.com


North America
Orocobre Limited
James Calaway
Chairman
M: +1 (713) 818 1457
jcalaway@orocobre.com
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.