Orocobre Limited Olaroz Lithium Project Construction Updateadmin
Orocobre Limited Olaroz Lithium Project Construction Update
Brisbane, Alberta CANADA, April 08, 2014 /FSC/ – Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) (ORL – TSX),(“Orocobre” or “the Company”) is pleased to advise progress on construction of the flagship Olaroz Lithium Project. In terms of physical progress the construction program is approximately 85% complete. A total of approximately US$194m has been spent or committed via executed contracts in the construction project to date.
– Construction 85% complete. Lithium carbonate plant is the main outstanding work area to be completed.
– Brine pumping flow rates currently running at long term requirements of 180l/s. Peak flow rates of 220l/s for brine stock build up to be achieved in early May.
– Thick continuous sand plus halite aquifer intersected in the first hole drilled beneath the current defined resource at Olaroz.
– Gas Atacama gas branch line connection was commenced in March and is expected to be completed within the next month.
– Construction projected to be completed on budget with the first commercial production of lithium carbonate projected to be the end of August 2014.
Pumping and hydrogeology
Daily production of 180l/s of brine is being maintained with approximately 125 l/s from the northern bore field and 55 l/s from the southern bore field. Brine supply from the southern bore field is currently limited by undersized transfer pumps at the TK-200 transfer ponds and 3 bores are currently off line in the southern field.
Correctly sized pumps are expected to be installed by May at which time peak filling rates of approximately 220 l/s will be achieved to build up brine stocks.
As part of the bore field development one bore was drilled to 304 m, the deepest hole to date by the company in Olaroz. Resource drilling was previously only carried out to a maximum depth of 200 m, with the resource only extending to a depth of 197 m below surface. This hole intersected a continuous sand plus halite aquifer from 255 m to the end of the hole at 304 m. Pumping tests have confirmed good hydrogeological properties and a high brine grade, averaging 770 mg/l Lithium during the pump testing. The significance of this previously unknown thick sand sequence is that it may extend laterally beneath much of the defined brine resource and contain a significant additional, and un-estimated, volume of lithium-bearing brine. The complete vertical thickness is currently unknown as the hole ended in sand at 304m. Previous geophysical surveys conducted by Orocobre have suggested the Olaroz salar deposits may extend to a possible 600 m deep.
Other construction points of note:
The gas branch line connection from Gas Atacama was commenced in March and is expected to be completed and commissioned within the next month.
Electrical components for the installation and commissioning of the reverse osmosis plant are expected to be delivered in April.
Construction works continue on the lithium processing plant, finished goods warehouse and the soda ash warehouse.
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 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 commercial production is projected to be for the end of August 2014.
To view competent person, cautionary and JORC statements, including figures and diagrams, please visit:
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 at the end of Q2, 2014. The Company also wholly-owns Borax Argentina, an important regional borate producer. Orocobre is 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 la Mineria Argentina (“Fundamin” or Foundation for Development of Argentina Mining).
Australia and Asia
Business Development Manager
T: +61 7 3871 3985
M: +61 407 845 052
M: +1 (713) 818 1457
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Posted: April 9th, 2014 under FSCWIRE.