Orocobre Limited, the Australian company that manages Olaroz lithium project, located in Jujuy province, published results for the quarter ended at 30 June.
Olaroz lithium facility (Orocobre 66.5% / All amounts on a 100% basis)
- Production for the quarter was the second highest on record at 3,596 tonnes of lithium carbonate, up 28% on the March quarter
- Record realised average price achieved of US$13,653/tonne on a free on-board basis (FOB)
- Record quarterly sales revenue of US$44.4 million on total sales of 3,255 tonnes of lithium carbonate (varies from ASX release 2 July 2018 due to unforeseeable port shipping delays, these sales will now be recognised in the September quarter)
- Cash costs for the quarter (on cost of goods sold basis) were down 13% quarter on quarter (QoQ) to US$3,800/tonne as a result of increased production and sales volumes
- Record gross cash margins of US$9,853/tonne were up 7% QoQ demonstrating the profitability and cash generation capability of the Olaroz operations
Fiscal Year 2018
- Production for fiscal year to 30 June 2018 was a record 12,470 tonnes, up 5% year on year (YoY)
- Total sales volume of 11,837 tonnes
- Average price received for fiscal 2018 was a new high of US$12,578/tonne, up 29% YoY
- Total sales revenue for the year to 30 June 2018 was a record US$148.9 million, up 24% on the previous year.
Lithium Growth Projects
- A US$40 million early works program has commenced as part of the Stage 2 expansion with the construction of ponds, roads and camp infrastructure. The US$40 million forms part of the total capital expenditure of US$285 million for Stage 2. The expansion will add 25,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium carbonate and bring Olaroz total production capacity to 42,500tpa.
- Orocobre and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) continue to advance plans for the proposed 10,000tpa Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant to be built in Japan. Negotiations continue for the Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) contract and are expected to be completed in the September quarter
- Progress continues to be made towards final investment decisions for both the Olaroz expansion and Naraha lithium hydroxide projects. In particular, work has advanced regarding debt packages for both projects and the JV structural elements for the hydroxide plant.
- Overall sales volume in the June quarter was up 16.6% on March quarter to 10,590 tonnes
- Sales have continued to steadily improve during the quarter with a strong focus on market development
- The Tincalayu Expansion Project feasibility study is in the final stages of internal review.
Cauchari Joint Venture (Advantage Lithium – operator 75% / Orocobre 25%)
- An updated resource estimate was released during the June quarter detailing a +6-fold increase of the inferred resource to 3.0 Mt Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) at Cauchari at 450 mg/l lithium
- Advantage Lithium has now undertaken drilling at 12 locations within the Cauchari tenements and has completed Phase 1 and 2 of the drilling program with Phase 3 drilling underway to upgrade this inferred resource and underlying brine to measured and indicated resources
- The NI43-101 Technical Report on the resource upgrade of the Cauchari Lithium Project was completed and released late in the June quarter to support the conclusions presented in the updated resource estimate
- A Preliminary Economic Assessment is planned for completion in Q3 2018 followed by a Feasibility Study to be completed by early 2019.