Orocobre Provides Olaroz Lithium Project Construction Update

Orocobre Provides Olaroz Lithium Project Construction Update 
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/21/13 -- Orocobre Limited
(TSX:ORL)(ASX:ORE) ("Orocobre" or "the Company") is pleased to
provide a progress report on the construction of the Company's
flagship Olaroz lithium project.  
Construction of the Olaroz lithium project officially began on 21st
November 2012. Progress has been swift due in a large part to the
preparation and planning that took place in the preceding year.
Sinclair Knight Merz, with the assistance of INFA, a well respected
Argentine engineering group, completed detailed engineering for all
areas of the operation, including brine extraction, transport and
evaporation, the lithium carbonate plant and key areas of the
re-purification and micronizing circuits. The procurement process was
also well advanced with all main suppliers identified and with many
construction and supply contracts at an advanced stage of negotiation
or ready for awarding by the construction commencement date. 
In addition, prior to official construction start, various aspects of
site preparation had been advanced, including the drilling of fresh
water bores and pumping station and the time consuming removal of
scrubby vegetation, "tolar", from the area of the evaporation ponds
prior to earth moving. Since then, numerous contracts with a total
value of US$45m have been executed, or are ready for execution. These
include the earth moving contracts for the construction of the 4.2
square kilometres of evaporation pond and road construction for the
bore field access road across the salt lake (which will allow
production bores to be drilled), the drilling contract for sixteen
200m production bores, purchase of 37km of pipeline for gas supply,
and the establishment of the construction camp, fuel and water
supply. All major contracts awarded to this point have been on or
under budget. 
Since start of official construction, and taking into account the
Christmas break, significant progress has been made on-site as
follows:  


 
--  The establishment of the construction camp at Olaroz, and the renting of
    supplementary accommodation at the nearby town of Susques for first
    stage construction crews 
--  Mobilization of earth moving equipment and commenceme
nt of works 
--  The clearing of tolar over approximately 50% of the evaporation pond
    area (2 sq km) and the commencement of earth works for evaporation pond
    construction.  
--  Establishment of a long term water supply to be used both for both
    domestic and construction purposes 
--  Establishment of fuel supply/storage and telecommunications 
--  The construction of 50% of the access roads on the salar to the bore -
    field area. 

 
Currently 142 construction workers are at site with a peak maximum
expected of 400 by mid 2013.  
The project implementation is through EPCM (Engineering, Procurement
and Construction Management) with a high proportion of local
involvement through construction and supply contracts and local
employment. The unique community and shared value policy continues as
a key success factor, training local people with supervision by high
quality experienced professionals.  
The Olaroz lithium project is being developed by Orocobre (66.5%)
with is partners Toyota Tsusho Corporation ("TTC") (25%) and the
Jujuy Province mining and energy company, JEMSE (8.5%) with a
construction budget of US$229m including contingency. The project is
fully funded with up to US$275m of funding available via US$82.8m of
equity funding from TTC and Orocobre and US$192m of project finance
for Mizuho Corporate Bank. First production is scheduled for the end
of second quarter, 2014. 
To view "Figure 1 Building Road to Bore Field," please visit the
following link:
http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ORL2101_Figure1.jpg. 
To view "Figure 2 Plant Platform Lime Area," please visit the
following link:
http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ORL2101_Figure2.jpg. 
To view "Figure 3 Road Construction," please visit the following
link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ORL2101_Figure3.jpg. 
To view "Figure 4 Removal of Vegetation," please visit the following
link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ORL2101_Figure4.jpg 
To view "Figure 5 Fuel Storage," please visit the following link:
http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ORL2101_Figure5.jpg. 
To view "Figure 6 Communications," please visit the following link:
http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ORL2101_Figure6.jpg. 
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 the first large-scale, "greenfield" brine based lithium
project in 20 years at its flagship Salar de Olaroz resource, with
projected production of 17,500 tonnes per annum of low-cost 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 draw down of finance for the Olaroz Project, the 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 cost of construction relative to 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 the conditions precedent to draw down
the project financing with Mizuho Corporate Bank will not be met;
that further funding may 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 www.sedar.com. 
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
Contacts:
Australia and Asia: Orocobre Limited
David Hall
Business Development Manager
M: +61 7 3871 3985
dhall@orocobre.com 
North America: Orocobre Limited
James Calaway
Chairman
M: +1 (713) 818 1457
jcalaway@orocobre.com