PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Lithium miner Orocobre has restarted production at its Olaroz and Boraz operations, in Argentina, after the government declared the operations ‘essential’ activities.
Operations were suspended in March after the Argentinian government instituted a national mandatory quarantine to combat the spread of Covid-19.
ASX- and TSX-listed Orocobre on Thursday said that activities at the Olaroz and Borax sites were being undertaken within strict health and safety standards, with the production and shipping of lithium carbonate now restarting from Olaroz with a significantly reduced number of personnel on site.
Borax has also restarted the production and shipping of essential products to customers, including those in Brazil.
However, Orocobre noted that on-site operations for the Stage 2 expansion of Olaroz remained suspended. Engineering, planning and procurement work for this project is continuing, however.
The Stage 2 expansion will increase total expected lithium carbonate production to around 42 500 t/y, with part of this industrial grade lithium carbonate to be used as feedstock for the proposed Naraha lithium hydroxide plant.
The Stage 2 expansion is currently estimated to cost some $295-million.