Orocobre's production falls

29th October 2020 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Dual-listed lithium miner Orocobre has reported a fall in production for the three months to September, compared with the previous corresponding period, as Covid-19 restrictions took their toll.

Lithium production during the three months under review reached 2 352 t, down from the 2 511 t produced in the previous corresponding period, while sales volumes for the quarter were up by 112% quarter on quarter to 3 393 t.

Sales revenue for the same period was up by 68% to $10.5-million following the sale of excess inventory, while the average sales price achieved during the quarter was down 21% owing to a strategic marketing decision to reduce excess inventory during July, significant market softness relating to Covid-19, and continued aggressive competitor pricing.

The ASX- and TSX-listed Orocobre told shareholders that lithium pricing appears to have reached a bottom, with realised prices for the second quarter expected to be higher than those achieved in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the miner told shareholders that work on the Stage 2 expansion of the Olaroz project, in Argentina, continued during the quarter with a reduced workforce, with construction work at the end of the quarter achieving 43.8% completion.

Capital expenditure on the project at the end of the quarter reached $159-million.

The Stage 2 expansion project is expected to start production in 2023, ramping up to full capacity of 25 000 t/y of industrial-grade lithium carbonate by 2026.