Orocobre Limited Commences Construction of 17,500 Tonnes Per

Orocobre Limited Commences Construction of 17,500 Tonnes Per Annum
Olaroz Lithium Carbonate Project 
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/21/12 -- Orocobre Limited
(TSX:ORL)(ASX:ORE) ("the Company") is pleased to announce the
commencement of construction at its fully-funded Olaroz Lithium
Project in northwest Argentina. A groundbreaking celebration was held
to celebrate the event. On completion of construction of the US$229
million lithium project in early 2014, it will be the world's first
large-scale, low cost "greenfield" brine lithium operation to have
been built in nearly 20 years and will have a first-phase design
production rate of 17,500 tonnes per annum of battery grade lithium
The start of construction marks the completion of the various
corporate structuring aspects of the Toyota Tsusho Corporation
("TTC") joint venture, TTC's subscription for its 25% equity in the
joint venture, and the issue of an 8.5% equity interest in the
project to Jujuy Energia y Mineria Sociedad del Estado ("JEMSE").
Following the previously announced completion of the detailed
engineering and governmental approvals process, the project now moves
into full-scale construction.  
Over the next few weeks, in the normal course of post equity
completion, Orocobre expects that the final project debt financing
documentation will be executed by the partners on the same attractive
terms as previously reported.  
Background on Funding  
On 17 October, 2012 the Company announced the formation of a joint
venture, with TTC becoming a 25% equity participant having
facilitated Mizuho Corporate Bank and JOGMEC to provide a
comprehensive debt and equity funding package for construction of the
Olaroz project. The cornerstones of the financing are an equity
investment by TTC of approximately US$55 million and up to US$192
million of low-cost project debt. As part of this process, Orocobre
entered into an agreement with JEMSE, the mining investment company
owned by the provincial Government of Jujuy, whereby JEMSE holds an
8.5% equity interest in the project. 
To fund an approximate US$12 million equity shortfall, and to provide
a strong balance sheet to fund its Borax Argentina initiatives and
working capital, on 5 November, 2012, Orocobre completed an
bed A$21 million institutional placement through the
issuance of 12.35 million ordinary shares to investors in Australia,
Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States at an issue price
of A$1.70 per share. In addition, in order to provide its existing
non-institutional investors an opportunity to participate in the
share offering on the same terms, the Company is undertaking a
Shareholder Purchase Plan capped at A$5.0 million.  
With the subscription for equity by TTC and the issue of shares to
JEMSE, the project construction can commence in earnest. Over the
last year, detailed engineering has been completed and the
procurement process is well advanced with most construction contracts
tendered. The project will be implemented using an EPCM methodology
with a high degree of local content. 
The first stage of construction involves establishment of water
supply, camp construction and associated infrastructure plus
production bores, brine pipeline and evaporation ponds. The company
will keep shareholders regularly updated as construction progresses. 
Managing Director and CEO, Richard Seville commented: "I'm very
pleased that we have commenced full-scale construction activity at
Olaroz. In an environment where so many projects are facing
difficulties, reaching the fully funded construction stage is a major
achievement that puts Orocobre on its way to establishing itself as a
significant and low operating cost battery grade lithium carbonate
supplier to the world. Our commitment to the people and environment
of Jujuy will strengthen the community and provide important
long-term benefits. Our joint venture partners, Toyota Tsusho and
JEMSE, have been instrumental in helping Orocobre reach this
important milestone."  
Mr. Seville added, "Thanks to our team's advanced preparations, we
are able to immediately commence construction. We now turn our full
attention to the methodical execution of the construction and
commissioning of our operations." 
Orocobre's Chairman, James D. Calaway, stated: "The start of
construction activity is a major accomplishment for everyone involved
with the project. Our valued relationship with Toyota Tsusho began in
early 2010, and since then we have worked as genuine partners to
ensure that we meet our commitments to the people of Jujuy and to
construct a long-term sustainable operation. To be at a point where
we are now under construction is very satisfying to all project
About Orocobre Limited  
Orocobre Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:ORL)(ASX:ORE), and is building a
substantial Argentinian-based industrial minerals company through the
construction and operation of its portfolio of lithium, potash and
boron projects and facilities in the Puna region of northern
Argentina. The Company is building in partnership with Toyota Tsusho
Corporation and JEMSE, the first large-scale, "greenfield" brine
based lithium plant in nearly 20 years at the Salar de Olaroz. This
high-margin project has a planned production rate after ramp up of
17,500 tonnes per annum of battery grade lithium carbonate scheduled
to commence in Q2 2014. The Company also wholly-owns Borax Argentina,
an important regional borate producer. Orocobre has recently been
included in the S&P/ASX 300 Index and was named 2012 Mining Company
of the Year by Argentine mining magazine Panorama Minero and the
Fundacion para el desarrollo de le Mineria Argentina ("Fundamin" or
Foundation for Development of Argentina Mining). For further
information, please visit www.orocobre.com. 
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information 
This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the
meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking
information contained in this release includes, but is not limited
to, the financing of the Olaroz Project, the completion of definitive
lending documentation with Mizuho and JOGMEC the provision of
required guarantees by TTC and JOGMEC, the commencement and
completion of construction at the Olaroz Project and the timing
thereof, the commencement of commercial production at the Olaroz
Project and the timing thereof, the estimated capital cost of the
Olaroz Project, the design production rate for lithium carbonate and
potash at the Olaroz Project, the expected brine grade at the Olaroz
Project, the expected operating costs at the Olaroz Project and the
comparison of such expected costs to expected global operating costs,
and the ongoing working relationship between Orocobre and the
Province of Jujuy. 
Such forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown
risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results
to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such
forward-looking information, including but not limited to the risk of
further changes in government regulations, policies or legislation;
the possibility that required concessions may not be obtained, or may
be obtained only on terms and conditions that are materially worse
than anticipated; the risk that required guarantees will not be
provided or that the project financing will otherwise not be
completed with Mizuho Corporate Bank and JOGMEC; that further funding
y be required, but unavailable, for the ongoing development of the
Company's projects; fluctuations or decreases in commodity prices;
uncertainty in the estimation, economic viability, recoverability and
processing of mineral resources; risks associated with weather
patterns and impact on production rate; risks associated with
construction and development of the Olaroz Project; unexpected
capital or operating cost increases; uncertainty of meeting
anticipated program milestones at the Olaroz Project; general risks
associated with the feasibility and development of the Olaroz
Project; as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's Annual
Information Form for the year ended June 30, 2012 filed at
The Company believes that the assumptions and expectations reflected
in such forward-looking information are reasonable. Assumptions have
been made regarding, among other things: the timely receipt of
required approvals and completion of agreements on reasonable terms
and conditions; the ability of the Company to obtain financing as and
when required and on reasonable terms and conditions; the prices of
lithium and potash; and the ability of the Company to operate in a
safe, efficient and effective manner. Readers are cautioned that the
foregoing list is not exhaustive of all factors and assumptions which
may have been used. There can be no assurance that forward-looking
information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future
events could differ materially from those anticipated in such
information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on
forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update
any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable
securities laws. 
ABN 31 112 589 910
Australia and Asia: Orocobre Limited
Richard Seville
Managing Director
+61 7 3871 3985 or M +61 419 916 338 
North America: Orocobre Limited
Bruce Rose
VP, Corporate Development
1 604 377 1423
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