Orocobre secures $361m in funding for lithium expansion

Lithium producer Orocobre has released its fourth quarter results for 2017, with production up a massive 84 per cent on its third quarter at 3937 tonnes.

The company has also secured $361 million in funding for a 25,000 tonnes per annum second phase expansion of its Olaroz lithium plant in Argentina.

This expansion is 7500 tonnes per annum more than previously planned, and takes Olaroz’s total capacity to 42,500 tonnes per annum in total, which makes it one of the world’s largest low-cost lithium producers.

The company is also planning to develop a lithium hydroxide plant in Fukushima, Japan with Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of Toyota Group.

The plant is expected to have a 10,000 tonnes per annum capacity with operating costs of $US1500 ($1882) per tonne; the Japanese Government has also tentatively approved funding of $US27 million ($33.9 million) in support of the project.

A $282 million bulk of the $361 million capital raising will be provided by Toyota Tsusho, at $7.40 per share for 37.5 million shares, in a deal that will provide Toyota with a 15 per cent ownership of Orocobre, while the remaining $79 million is to be funded by shareholders at a price of $6.55 per share.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.