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  • Orocobre (ORE) is restarting some of its operations in Argentina, despite the mandatory COVID-19 quarantine extending to April 12
  • The quarantine came into effect on March 20th and forced the company to halt operations at the Olaroz Lithium Plant and the Borax Boron Plant
  • This period has already the impacted lithium carbonate production at Olaroz and the company has chosen to withdraw its previous guidance
  • Some operations at the plant have now been deemed essential and the company is set to recommence production at the Borax Plant with minimum staff
  • Orocobre (ORE) shares are up 3.35 per cent, trading for $2.16 per share at market close

Orocobre Limited (ORE) is recommencing some of its operations, despite Argentina’s nation-wide mandatory quarantine extending to April 12.

The quarantine came into effect on March 20th to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country. As a result, the company was forced to cease production at the Olaroz lithium plant and the Borax boron plant.

The quarantine was intended to last until at least March 31. However, with case numbers continuing to worsen throughout Argentina, the quarantine will be extended for another 13 days.

This extension will severely impact lithium production at Olaroz and as a result, the company has withdrawn its previous guidance. Orocobre stated that demand in the current market remains uncertain and therefore the guidance will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Before the quarantine took effect, The Olaroz Plant had processed 2,732 tonnes of lithium carbonate.

Some operations at Orocobre’s facilities have been deemed essential and therefore can recommence, despite the quarantine extending. The Borax facility will be able to recommence production immediately, albeit with heavily reduced staff.

Olaroz, however, will not start up so quickly. Currently, workers on site are readying the plant and maintaining the lithium pond. Orocobre is still awaiting the necessary approvals and has given no expected date to recommence operations.

Furthermore, the planned expansion at Olaroz, which was suspended when the initial quarantine came into effect, remains on hold until further notice.

The company has previously assured shareholders that the lithium hydroxide plant, which Orocobre is constructing in Japan, remains in progress.

However, Orocobre did point out that ongoing global supply-chain issues could slow the procurement of parts from China and delay the project.

Orocobre Limited (ORE) shares are up 3.35 per cent, trading for $2.16 per share at market close.

ORE by the numbers
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