Lithium Americas expects delays at Caucharí-Olaroz over coronavirus

Cauchari-Olaroz project in Argentina. Image courtesy of Lithium Americas Corp

Lithium Americas (TSX: LAC, NYSE: LAC) announced Friday that it expects a delay on the construction of its Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project situated in Jujuy, Argentina.

The company said the construction was set to be completed by the end of 2020, but noted there will be delays of up to 90 days in the delivery time for some equipment from Chinese suppliers as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

At the end of February, construction of the 40 000 t/d battery-quality lithium carbonate project was about 36% complete. About $331 million of the planned capital expenditure has been committed, of which $222 million has been spent.

“The company continues to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the development program, including discussions with all vendors and freight forwarders on the delivery schedule, to assess the impact on schedule and to develop mitigation strategies, if necessary,” Lithium Americas said in a media release. “The company intends to provide updated guidance on the construction schedule in the second quarter.”

Lithium Americas is partnered with China’s Ganfeng on the Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project.

The company’s stock traded at $3.22 per share on the NYSE, up 3.8% on Friday. Its market value is approximately $286 million.

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