Orocobre Announces Borax Plant Relocation

Orocobre Announces Borax Plant Relocation 
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/30/13 -- Orocobre Limited
(TSX:ORL)(ASX:ORE) ("Orocobre" or "the Company") wishes to advise of
a significant advance at its 100% subsidiary Borax Argentina with the
decision to relocate the borax chemical plant from its current
location in Campo Quijano (close to the city of Salta) to the
Tincalayu mine site. The Borax Argentina chemical plant produces
borax decahydrate, borax pentahydrate and anhydrous borax.  
To view the first image associated with this press release, please
visit the following link:
The relocation of the borax plant to the Tincalyu mine site will have
significant benefits through both the reduction of operating unit
costs and also increasing overall mineral recovery from the mine.
Currently, run-of-mine ore at 17% B2O3 is concentrated at Tincalayu
using dry magnetic separation to produce a 21% grade which is then
transported the 350 kms from Tincalayu to Campo Quijano for
production of borax chemicals. Recovery through the dry magnetic
separation plant is only approximately 60%. In the future, when the
borax plant is at the Tincalayu mine site, the borax plant will treat
run-of-mine ore without the use of the magnetic separation plant.
This will result in: 

--  no loss of mineral content prior to the borax plant as there will be no
    concentration stage 
--  removal of the operating costs of the dry magnetic separation
    concentration stage  
--  improvement in the freight cost profile by cartage of finished products
    with grades between 37% and 49% B2O3 as opposed to a 21% grade

The total capital budget for the project is AR$30m (US$5.6m) which is
being funded within Argentina as explained below. 
To view the map associated with this press release, please visit the
following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/orlmap630.jpg. 
The total capital budget of the relocation and plant modifications is
AR$30m (US$5.6m(i)). Of this, the company has received project
finance from HSBC for AR$18m (US$3.4m(i)). Borax Argentina will
provide AR$12m (US$2.2m(i)) in the form of its existing equipment,
materials and labour currently employed in the Borax operations. The
loan will be repayable over 4 years and has an interest rate of
15.25% p.a.  
The interest rate applicable to the loan is less than current market
rates in Argentina due to a government directive as documented in the
Central Bank publication "Banco Central de la Republica Argentina
Communication "A" 5380" dated 21/12/2012, which established a scheme
to ensure funds are available to be loaned to local businesses for
expansion and improvement projects at reduced interest rates.  
It is worthwhile to note that all customer sales contracts for the
Borax Argentina business are denominated in US$ and that the AR$ has
been devaluing against the US$. Over 2012, the devaluation was 14.1%
and over the first six months of 2012, devaluation has been 9.5% (19%
The completion date for the project is forecast to be before the end
of June 2014. Preparations have already commenced with some
preliminary site work being done at the Tincalayu mine and the
planning and commencement of an inventory build to allow for stock
cover at critical points in the relocation program.  
The Company considers this project an exciting development which will
position the Borax Argentina business well for the future. 
To view the second image associated with this press release, please
visit the following link:
((i) at current exchange rates) 
Managing Director, Richard Seville, said. "We are very pleased with
this project. This initiative has been driven by the management team
of Borax Argentina and they deserve credit for making this "step
change" so quickly after Orocobre purchased the company. The move
will have significant benefits to the operation in terms of unit
costs and mineral recovery. We see this as the first of a number of
initiatives for the coming years."  
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
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 may include, but is not limited
to, the relocation of the Borax Argentina refining plant and the
timing thereof including forecast completion date, the provision of
finance by HSBC for the relocation of the Borax Argentina refining
plant, the cost of the relocation project, the impact on the cost per
unit of production and the comparison of such expected costs to
global operating costs. 
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 HSBC 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; unexpected capital or
operating cost increases; uncertainty of meeting anticipated program
milestones on the Borax Argentina refining plant relocation project;
general risks associated with the feasibility and development of the
Borax Argentina plant relocation; 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 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
David Hall
Business Development Manager
+61 7 3871 3985 or M: +61 407 845 052
North America
Orocobre Limited
James Calaway
M: +1 (713) 818 1457
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.