Orocobre suspends operations in Argentina

The Olaroz lithium facility is located in northern Argentina, approximately 230 km northwest of the city of Jujuy. Image: Orocobre

Orocobre (ASX: ORE, TSX: ORL) has moved operations at its Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina to care and maintenance. As well, the company has suspended all development activities related to the stage 2 expansion.

Earlier this month, the government of Argentina enacted the Decree of Necessity and Urgency in relation to covid-19, requiring a national mandatory quarantine and prohibiting the movement of personnel within the country until March 31. While the restrictions include some exceptions, the company said these do not apply to mining operations or construction activities.

Orocobre currently holds sufficient stock to meet customer orders until the end of April depending upon the recommencement of operations by customers in Asia and Europe, it said.

Supply to customers will remain dependent upon the ability to transport and export product from the Olaroz site to ports in Argentina and/or Chile.

Meanwhile, operations at Borax Argentina have also been suspended with operations to restart once the quarantine order has been lifted, while construction of the lithium hydroxide plant at Naraha is currently unaffected, though the company warned that there could be some disruption with Chinese-sourced equipment that could delay completion.

Orocobre added that it currently has approximately $164 million in cash available for corporate purposes.

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