Orocobre suspends operations at Olaroz amid covid-19 cases

The Olaroz Lithium Facility located in Jujuy Province in northern Argentina. (Image courtesy of Orocobre.)

Orocobre (ORE:ASX ORL:TSX) has temporarily suspended operations at its Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina, following positive covid-19 tests results from 35 employees. 

According to the company, operations are expected to recommence early this week and the stoppage is not expected to materially affect operational nor financial results.

Eighteen of the 35 positive tests have been directly linked to a single person who had originally tested negative and was asymptomatic at the start of the shift roster. All direct, and subsequent contacts of that person were quickly isolated and tested, said Orocobre in a press release.

In addition, the remainder of the 189 employees within the operation were also tested and a further 17 people returned positive tests but were asymptomatic and not linked to the original person.

All infected employees remain in good health, according to the miner.

Argentina is currently recording up to 18,000 daily positive cases of covid-19 and total reported infections in Argentina now exceed one million.

Olaroz measured and indicated resource of 6.4 Mt LCE is capable of sustaining current continuous production for 40-plus years with only ~15% of the defined resource extracted.