Orocobre Limited is pleased to provide its September Quarterly Activities Report and financial position as at 30 September 2021 1 . KEY HIGHLIGHTS Another record quarter at Mt Cattlin with 67,931 dry metric tonnes of spodumene concentrate produced in line with customer requirements at a unit cash cost of US$351tonne 89,640 dmt of product was shipped in the quarter with a realised average price of US$779tonne ...

Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE, TSX:ORL) ( Orocobre ) is pleased to provide its September Quarterly Activities Report and financial position as at 30 September 2021 1 .



  • Another record quarter at Mt Cattlin with 67,931 dry metric tonnes ( dmt ) of spodumene concentrate produced in line with customer requirements at a unit cash cost of US$351/tonne
  • 89,640 dmt of product was shipped in the quarter with a realised average price of US$779/tonne generating revenue of US$69.8 million
  • Contracting arrangements are well advanced for further shipments of ~38.5kt in the December quarter and ~25kt in early January 2022 with a target grade of 5.7% Li 2 O
  • Average pricing for these shipments is approximately US$1,650/tonne CIF for 6% Li 2 O, almost double that of the September quarter
  • At Olaroz 2 , 2,802 tonnes of lithium carbonate were produced, 58% of which was battery grade and exceeded the budgeted target of 50%
  • Sales were 2,622 tonnes at a price of US$9,341/tonne FOB 3 generating revenue of US$24.5 million
  • Expansion works at Olaroz have reached 60% completion
  • The lithium carbonate sales price has increased by over 200% in the last year and guidance for the December quarter has been revised upwards to ~US$12,000/tonne FOB 3


  • Construction is virtually complete at the Naraha Plant and pre-commissioning works are well underway
  • Early construction and procurement at Sal de Vida advances with the completion of the wellfield drilling program and mobilisation of the earthworks and liner installation contractors to site in anticipation of receiving final permits by year end
  • Feasibility study works and basic engineering at James Bay are in the final stages with results and a maiden reserve scheduled for release during the December quarter


  • Merger with Galaxy Resources Limited ( Galaxy ) successfully implemented via a scheme of arrangement
  • At 30 September, the merged entity held cash of US$423.6 million, of which US$140.1 million is being held as collateral until practical completion for the Naraha and Olaroz Expansion debt facilities



Safety performance of the merged entity continued to improve with a Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate of 3.4 for the rolling 12 months, a 20% improvement compared to the previous six month period. The quarter closed with two recordable injuries at Mt Cattlin, two at the Olaroz Lithium Facility and one at Borax Argentina. All injuries were of low severity and have since been investigated with corrective action taken to prevent future occurrences.

A number of initiatives were undertaken during the quarter as part of the Company's continued focus to maintain the highest possible health and safety practices at all operations. This includes a mental health improvement plan and a principal hazard management pilot at Mt Cattlin, a hand care safety program to support expansion activities at the Olaroz Lithium Facility and a comprehensive hazard identification campaign at Sal de Vida.


All Argentinian operations are adhering to the COVID-19 Bio-Security Protocol and at quarter end vaccination rates had increased significantly. Vaccination rates across these operations are well above the national average with 97% and 88% of the Sal de Vida and Olaroz workforce vaccinated with their first dose, respectively.

The Western Australian ( WA ) Government has also enforced mandatory full vaccination for all fly-in fly-out and local workers on WA mine sites by 1 January 2022. The Company has developed plans to comply with this directive.


The Shared Value team was established in Argentina to provide long-term value to the local communities through initiatives based on five pillars; empowerment, transparency, education, health and local production and natural resources.

In compliance with the COVID-19 Bio-Security Protocol, community engagement and briefings continued throughout the quarter with various development initiatives including the Program to Support Food Independence which is expanding into new communities. Various health and educational initiatives were also undertaken in the communities surrounding the Sal de Vida project. Construction of a first aid facility in Ciénaga Redonda was completed and technical training courses and supplier development programs were held in the various communities of Antofagasta de La Sierra.




Due to record production rates achieved, forecast production for CY21 has been revised upwards to 210,000 - 220,000 dmt of spodumene concentrate, from the previous guidance of 195,0000 – 210,000 dmt. As a result, forecast cash costs have been revised down to US$390-$420/tonne, from the previous guidance of US$420-450/tonne. The CY21 forecast metrics for Mt Cattlin and performance against those metrics are outlined in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Mt Cattlin operational/sales performance & CY21 forecast production metrics

Units CY21 Forecast
Production Metrics
Sep Q Jun Q Mar Q
Total material mined bcm 5,400,000 - 5,900,000 1,330,080 966,920 1,007,177
Ore mined bcm - 195,285 174,358 138,132
Total ore processed wmt 1,450,000 - 1,650,000 429,395 427,587 310,741
Grade of ore processed % Li 2 O 1.2 - 1.3 1.48 1.44 1.47
Mass yield % - 16.1 15.1 15.3
Recovery % 58 - 62 61.7 60.0 59.7
Concentrate produced dmt 210,000 - 220,000 67,931 63,321 46,588
Grade of concentrate produced % Li 2 O 5.6 - 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.8
Concentrate shipped dmt - 89,640 48,499 29,917
Grade of concentrate shipped % Li 2 O - 5.7 5.8 5.9
Realised price US$/dmt CIF 779 517 348
Revenue US$ million 69.8 25.1 10.4
Production Costs
Cash cost per tonne produced US$/t FOB 390 - 420 351 328 384


A consecutive record quarter was achieved with 67,931 dmt of spodumene concentrate produced, up 7% quarter on quarter ( QoQ ). Product grade of 5.7% Li 2 O was in line with customer requirements and excellent operational performance was due to favourable head grade and improved processing rates and recoveries.

Mining activities continued to source ore from the 2NE pit and material mined of 1,330,080 bcm is in line with pre-stripping activities and full year guidance. The optical ore sorters continue to make positive contributions to throughput from the stockpiles of low-grade ore and additional ore sorters were commissioned to increase the throughput of low-grade ore.

Sales & financial performance

89,640 dmt of spodumene concentrate was shipped during the quarter at an average grade of 5.7% Li 2 O, generating revenue of US$69.8 million with an average sales price of US$779/dmt CIF. Included in this volume is 30,846 dmt of product corresponding to sales contracts from the June quarter which were rolled over into July due to shipping delays.

The FOB unit cash cost of spodumene concentrate produced for the quarter was US$351/dmt, up 7% QoQ. The unit cash cost is expected to increase in the December quarter, in accordance with revised full year guidance, as the first phase of pre-stripping of the 2NW pit is underway.

Sales outlook and guidance

The Company continues to experience very strong demand for its spodumene concentrate as rising downstream production increases the utilisation of spodumene converters in China. Contracting arrangements with long term customers are well advanced for further shipments of ~38.5kt in the December quarter and ~25kt in early January 2022 with a target grade of 5.7% Li 2 O. Average pricing for these shipments is approximately US$1,650/tonne CIF for 6% Li 2 O, double that of the September quarter.




Production for the September quarter was 2,802 tonnes, up 19% from 2,352 tonnes in the previous corresponding period ( PCP ), with 58% of production being battery grade lithium carbonate.

Sales and financial performance

Quarterly product sales were 2,622 tonnes of lithium carbonate, 61% of which were battery grade specifications in line with customer requirements. The sales volume was up 3% QoQ but down 23% from the PCP, reflecting a decision in 2020 to reduce excess inventory at a time of significant market softness and uncertainty related to COVID-19.

Total sales revenue was up 13% QoQ to US$24.5 million and up 133% on the PCP. The average price received was up 10% QoQ to US$9,341/tonne on an FOB 3 basis and up 201% on the PCP.

December quarter pricing is anticipated to be approximately US$12,000/tonne FOB. December quarter sales are expected to be a similar volume to the September quarter.

Table 2: Olaroz operational, sales and financial performance metrics

Metric Units Sep Q Jun Q QoQ % PCP Sep FY20 PCP %
Production tonnes 2,802 3,300 -15% 2,352 19 %
Sales tonnes 2,622 2,549 3 % 3,393 -23%
Average price received US$/tonne 9,341 8,476 10 % 3,102 201 %
Cost of sales US$/tonne 4,754 4,105 16 % 3,974 20 %
Revenue US$M 24.5 21.6 13 % 10.5 133 %
Gross cash margin US$/tonne 4,587 4,371 5 % -872 n/a
Gross cash margin % 49 % 52% -5% -28% n/a
Export Tax US$/tonne 370 407 -9% 70 -9%


Cash cost of goods sold for the quarter increased by 20% on the PCP to US$4,754/tonne 4 . This was due to lower production volumes, higher labour costs and other costs as a result of devaluation of the Argentine Peso of only 3.2% versus inflation at 9.3%, an increase in gas prices, COVID 19 related costs and a higher proportion of battery grade sales mix than the PCP (61% versus 27%). Export duties for the quarter were US$370/tonne.

Gross cash margin for the quarter increased by 5% to US$4,587/tonne, this is expected to increase further with higher prices anticipated for the December quarter.


During the September quarter work at Olaroz Stage 2 continued with strong adherence to the COVID-19 Bio-Security Protocol. Overall plant construction has now reached 60% completion.

Additional accommodation facilities are in operation with more than 700 personnel now on site. Most infrastructure is complete, nearly 85% of ponds are built and the soda ash and carbonation plants are 27% and 31% complete respectively.

Stage 2 is expected to be completed during H1 CY22 and to commence production in the following half.



Sales update

September quarter sales of 13,083 tonnes of boron minerals and refined products represents a quarterly increase of 17% and an approximate increase of 46% from the PCP (Table 3). Total sales revenue was up 13% QoQ due to a 32% increase in the average realised price with an increase in refined product sales and a decrease in sales of mineral products.

Table 3: Combined product sales volume by quarter

Metric Units 2021 QoQ % 2020 PCP %
September tonnes 13,083 17 % 8,964 46 %
June tonnes 11,188 9% 12,278 -9%
March tonnes 10,282 24% 10,690 -4%




The Naraha Plant, the first of its kind to be built in Japan, is designed to convert primary grade lithium carbonate feedstock into battery grade lithium hydroxide. Feedstock for the 10 kilotonnes per annum ( ktpa ) Naraha Plant will be sourced from the Olaroz Lithium Facility's Stage 2 Expansion that will produce primary grade (>99.0% Li 2 CO 3 ) lithium carbonate.

Progress to date

Since construction commenced at the Naraha Plant there have been no Lost Time Injuries recorded with more than 310,000 hours worked on the project.

At 30 September, approximately US$69 million has been spent on engineering, civil works, electrical, instrumentation, fabrication and procurement at the Naraha Plant. Capex spend has remained relatively static due to the agreed payment schedule with Veolia, the EPC contractor.

Site training and limited operations have continued throughout the period with construction now virtually complete and pre-commissioning works underway. Commissioning is anticipated to occur during Q1 CY22.



Sal de Vida is designed to produce battery grade lithium carbonate through an evaporation and processing operation at the Salar del Hombre Muerto site. The 2021 Feasibility Study focuses on an initial 10.7ktpa operation that can readily expand to ~32ktpa production capacity through later stages.

Engineering & procurement

Procurement of the wells to ponds package is nearly complete. The majority of liners for the evaporation ponds have been delivered to site and the earthworks and liner contractor has mobilised to site in anticipation of final permits which have been delayed by COVID-19 and are now expected by year end. The wells and brine distribution contract is also expected to be awarded before year end.

Engineering for the process plant and non-process infrastructure is almost complete. Procurement for long lead items is also well advanced.

Early construction & wellfield drilling

All eight production wells have been completed for Stage 1 brine production. Pump testing has been performed by the hydrogeological team on the majority of the wells and results are in line with operating assumptions and expectations. A revised Resource & Reserve estimate is planned after completion of the drilling program and final assessment of the results. General infrastructure and early works also progressed onsite during the quarter.

Process development & piloting

The onsite piloting program continues to deliver exceptional results, with the most recent run achieving targeted results and all battery grade parameters, in line with current designs for commercial operations.

Approximately 1 tonne of lithium carbonate was produced and 85% of this product met battery grade quality specifications, compared to the feasibility study assumption of 80%. The battery grade product achieved a 99.95% lithium carbonate purity with Ca and Mg levels of 10 ppm each. These results are displayed in Table 4 below and demonstrate improved results against prior runs and typical battery grade specifications. Piloting will continue throughout the remainder of CY21 to support operational readiness for Stage 1 production.

Table 4: Battery grade specifications and piloting results


carbonate purity

Impurity species (ppm)
Ca Mg K B SO 4 Na
Typical battery grade specification > 99.5%
Pilot run – 2020 99.8% 125 165 26 36 135 103
Pilot run (with IX) – 2021 99.9% 14 20 58 132
Pilot run (with IX) – September 2021 99.95 % 10 10 12 25 30 72



James Bay's design basis is a 330ktpa spodumene operation utilising conventional open pit mining methods and a process flowsheet and plant configuration similar to Mt Cattlin.

Basic Engineering commenced during the quarter with mobilisation of key consultants led by G-Mining Services. Engineering, procurement and construction permit preparation is advancing while continuing to detail the Project Execution Plan and contracting strategy.

The NI 43-101 report and Reserve update are scheduled for release in the December quarter. Ongoing downstream studies continue, examining options regarding value adding to James Bay's spodumene concentrate.

Onsite activities & stakeholder engagement

Additional site investigation works are planned for early CY22 with respect to sterilisation drilling (for final plant and infrastructure location) and further definition of the ore body.

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was re-submitted to authorities in July 2021 to reflect the changes made to the project as presented in the Preliminary Economic Assessment that was released earlier in the year. The clarification process is on-going with authorities and engagement with local communities and stakeholders continues, including the Cree Nation of Eastmain and the Cree Nation Government.



Demand for lithium chemicals and spodumene concentrate increased materially during the quarter in all key geographies responding to sustained high production of lithium-ion battery materials and batteries.

Electric Vehicle ( EV ) sales of ~3.7 million units between January and August 2021 are up 150% compared to prior year which has meant global average lithium chemical and spodumene concentrate prices continued rising during the quarter. EV sales in China alone recorded ~1.7 million units year to date which is up 190% compared to prior year. A new sales record of >300,000 EV units was achieved in August.

Demand for lithium carbonate in China outstripped supply in the spot market during the September quarter due to a strong preference for LFP battery formats in the domestic market. Such market dynamics pushed spot lithium carbonate prices to ~US$23,000/tonne CIF at the end of September, from ~US$11,500/tonne CIF at the beginning of the quarter and are once again trading at parity with lithium hydroxide prices.

Prices for lithium chemicals outside China also rallied as contracted prices are gradually adjusted up to reflect tightening market conditions across the supply chain.

Consistent with the high demand trend for lithium chemicals and pricing, spodumene concentrate spot sales during the September quarter exceeded US$1,000/tonne CIF compared to ~US$650/tonne CIF in the preceding quarter. Spot prices for the limited volumes of spodumene available in the December quarter are estimated to be in the range of US$1,500/tonne CIF to US$2,500/tonne for SC6% CIF.

Lithium chemicals and spodumene concentrate are largely sold under long term contracts with a mixture of yearly negotiated prices and formula adjustments based off price indices. Reported spot prices only reflect marginal volumes rather than prices in the high-volume contract market. As such, spot prices may be considered leading indicators for the trend of future contract prices.


Estimated lithium chemical production in China during the September quarter remained consistent with the prior quarter at ~60,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate and ~45,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide.

Whilst China's power restrictions did not have a significant effect on lithium chemical supply during the September quarter, it affected production volumes of battery materials in certain Provinces. If these conditions were to persist during the December quarter, domestic production rates for the lithium-ion battery supply chain may be reduced.

The supply from lithium brine and spodumene producers is estimated to be at least 3% less than the projected demand volumes in 2021. This supply deficit is forecast to increase to over 20% over the next five-year period according to Benchmark Minerals.

Concerns for securing upstream supply from lithium resources across the battery supply chain has resulted in further consolidation with recent upstream acquisitions at higher multiples during the September quarter. It's anticipated that lithium-ion battery producers and EV manufacturers will continue to play a more active role in sourcing lithium chemicals and spodumene concentrate in coming years under long term purchase agreements.


The scheme of arrangement ( Scheme ) in relation to the merger of Orocobre Limited and Galaxy Resources Limited was implemented on 25 August 2021. In accordance with the Scheme, all shares in Galaxy were transferred to Orocobre and eligible Galaxy shareholders were issued the scheme consideration of 0.569 new fully paid ordinary shares in Orocobre for each Galaxy share held at the record date on 18 August 2021.

The merged entity is proposing a name change to Allkem Limited, subject to shareholder approval at the 2021 Annual General Meeting.

Mr Neil Kaplan has stepped down as Joint Company Secretary on 22 October 2021 whilst remaining as Chief Financial Officer. Mr John Sanders has been appointed as Joint Company Secretary effective 22 October 2021, with existing Joint Company Secretary Mr Rick Anthon. Mr Sanders was previously Company Secretary of Galaxy Resources Limited.

Implementation of the merger is proceeding as planned with the new Board holding its first virtual meeting in early October.


The Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 30 November 2021 at 11am (AEST) (Brisbane) virtually via an online platform at https://web.lumiagm.com/339412398 (Meeting). For further information, please refer to the Notice of Meeting and/or the Company website.


At 30 September 2021, Orocobre corporate had available cash of ~US$423.6 million, of which US$9.8 million and US$130.3 million have been set aside as pre-completion guarantees for the Naraha debt facility and Olaroz Expansion debt facility respectively.

Corporate cash of the merged entity decreased by US$14.8 million from the previous quarter. Mt Cattlin contributed US$25.6 million cash from operations net of capex and working capital movements which was offset by merger related costs of US$17.5 million, Sal de Vida capex of US$9.1 million, James Bay capex of US$2.9 million and a US$4.7 million advance to the Naraha project (treated as a shareholder loan to fund a project finance repayment), US$5.6 million in corporate costs and US$0.6 million for other project payments.

Net group cash at 30 September 2021 was US$225.2 million, including SDJ, Borax cash and project debt. This is down from the merged entity's balance of US$268.2 million at 30 June 2021 mainly due to merger-related costs, Sal de Vida payments, a drawdown of project finance for the Olaroz Stage 2 expansion, Naraha finance and project payments, partially offset by Mt Cattlin operating cash inflows. The Orocobre net cash on a proportional ownership basis is calculated in Table 5 below.

Table 5: Total corporate cash and total proportional net group cash as at 30 September 2021

US$ Million
ORE Corporate Cash 283.3
ORE Restricted Cash LiOH 9.8
ORE Restricted Cash Expansion 130.3
AAL 0.2
Total ORE Corporate Cash 423.6
Net Cash from other entities 0.5
TLC Naraha cash @ 75% 6.1
SDJ Cash @ 66.5% 6.5
SDJ Restricted cash @ 66.5% 10.9
TLC Project Loan @ 75% (54.4)
SDJ External Debt @ 66.5% (10.1)
Mizuho Stage 1 @ 66.5% (38.2)
Mizuho Stage 2 @ 66.5% (119.7)
Total Proportional Net Group Cash 225.2

A US$40 million facility arranged by Galaxy also remains fully undrawn, with a current maturity date of 31 December 2021.


The official foreign exchange rate depreciated by ~3.2% in the September quarter from AR$95.72 at 30 June 2021, to AR$98.74 at 30 September 2021. The accumulated 12-month period from 1 October 2020 to 30 Sep 2021 resulted in a ~30% devaluation of the AR$ against the US$.

September inflation was 3.5% with an aggregate of ~9.3% in the quarter. Inflation for the 12 month period from 1 October 2020 was approximately 53%.

This release was authorised by Mr Martin Perez de Solay, CEO and Managing Director of Orocobre Limited.

For more information
Orocobre Limited
ABN 31 112 589 910
Level 35, 71 Eagle St,
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Investor Relations
Andrew Barber
Orocobre Limited
M: +61 418 783 701
E: abarber@orocobre.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OrocobreLimited
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/orocobre-limited
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrocobreLimited/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/orocobre/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/OrocobreLimited


This investor ASX/TSX release ( Release ) has been prepared by Orocobre Limited (ACN 112 589 910) (the Company or Orocobre ). It contains general information about the Company as at the date of this Release. The information in this Release should not be considered to be comprehensive or to comprise all of the material which a shareholder or potential investor in the Company may require in order to determine whether to deal in Shares of Orocobre. The information in this Release is of a general nature only and does not purport to be complete. It should be read in conjunction with the Company's periodic and continuous disclosure announcements which are available at www.orocobre.com and with the Australian Securities Exchange ( ASX ) announcements, which are available at www.asx.com.au .

This Release does not take into account the financial situation, investment objectives, tax situation or particular needs of any person and nothing contained in this Release constitutes investment, legal, tax, accounting or other advice, nor does it contain all the information which would be required in a disclosure document or prospectus prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ( Corporations Act ). Readers or recipients of this Release should, before making any decisions in relation to their investment or potential investment in the Company, consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to their own individual investment objectives and financial situation and seek their own professional investment, legal, taxation and accounting advice appropriate to their particular circumstances.

This Release does not constitute or form part of any offer, invitation, solicitation or recommendation to acquire, purchase, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of, or issue, any Shares or any other financial product. Further, this Release does not constitute financial product, investment advice (nor tax, accounting or legal advice) or recommendation, nor shall it or any part of it or the fact of its distribution form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract or investment decision.

The distribution of this Release in other jurisdictions outside Australia may also be restricted by law and any restrictions should be observed. Any failure to comply with such restrictions may constitute a violation of applicable securities laws. See the section of this Release entitled "International Selling Restrictions". By accepting this Release, you warrant and represent that you are entitled to receive this Release in accordance with the above restrictions and agree to be bound by the limitations therein.

Past performance information given in this Release is given for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon as (and is not) an indication of future performance.

Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and beliefs and, by their nature, are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results, performances and achievements to differ materially from any expected future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, the risk of further changes in government regulations, policies or legislation; the risks associated with the continued implementation of the merger between the Company and Galaxy Resources Ltd (the Merger ), risks that further funding may be required, but unavailable, for the ongoing development of the Company's projects including those projects acquired in the Merger; fluctuations or decreases in commodity prices; uncertainty in the estimation, economic viability, recoverability and processing of mineral resources; risks associated with development of the Company Projects including those projects acquired by the Company as a result of the Merger; unexpected capital or operating cost increases; uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones at the Olaroz Project or the other Company Projects including those projects acquired by the Company as a result of the Merger; risks associated with investment in publicly listed companies, such as the Company; risks associated with general economic conditions; the risk that the historical estimates for Borax Argentina's properties that were prepared by Rio Tinto, Borax Argentina and/or their respective consultants (including the size and grade of the resources) are incorrect in any material respect; as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's Annual Report for the financial year ended 30 June 2021 and Sustainability Report 2020 available on the ASX website and at www.sedar.com .

Certain statements in this Release are forward-looking statements. You can identify these statements by the fact that they use words such as "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "project", "intend", "plan", "believe", "target", "may", "assume", "should", "could", "predict", "propose", "forecast", "outlook" and words of similar import. Indications of, and guidance on, future earnings and financial position and performance are also forward-looking statements. Forward-looking information may include, but is not limited to, the successful ramp-up and/or continued production rates of the Olaroz Lithium Project ( Olaroz Project ), the Sal de Vida Lithium Project ( Sal de Vida Project ), the Mt Cattlin Spodumene Project ( Mt Cattlin Project ), the James Bay Spodumene Project ( James Bay Project ) and the Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Project ( Naraha Project ), (together the Company Projects ) and the timing thereof; the design production rate for lithium carbonate at the Olaroz Project and Sal de Vida Project; the expected brine grade at the Olaroz Project and the Sal de Vida Project; the expected spodumene grade at the James Bay Project and Mt Cattlin Project expansion; the future financial and operating performances, including production, rates of return, operating costs and capital costs of and cash flows resulting from each of the Company Projects; the comparison of such expected costs to expected global operating costs; the ongoing working relationship between Orocobre and the Provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Catamarca in Argentina; the on-going working relationship between Orocobre and the Olaroz Project's financiers, being Mizuho Bank and Mizuho and the satisfaction of lending covenants; the future financial and operating performance of the Company, its affiliates and related bodies corporate, including Borax Argentina S.A. ( Borax Argentina ); the estimation and realisation of mineral resources at the Company Projects; the viability, recoverability and processing of such resources; timing of future exploration of the Company Projects; timing and receipt of approvals, consents and permits under applicable legislation; trends in Argentina relating to the role of government in the economy (and particularly its role and participation in mining projects); adequacy of financial resources, forecasts relating to the lithium and boron markets; the potential processing of brines from the Cauchari Project and the Sal de Vida Project and the incremental capital cost of such processing; optimisation of Borax Argentina's operations and any synergies relating thereto and other matters related to the development of the Company Projects and the timing of the foregoing matters.

Subject to any continuing obligation under applicable law or relevant listing rules of the ASX, the Company disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements in this Release to reflect any change in expectations in relation to any forward-looking statements or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based. Nothing in this Release shall under any circumstances (including by reason of this Release remaining available and not being superseded or replaced by any other Release or publication with respect to the subject matter of this Release), create an implication that there has been no change in the affairs of the Company since the date of this Release.

1 All figures presented in this report are unaudited
2 All figures 100% Olaroz Project basis
3 " FOB " (Free On Board) excludes insurance and freight charges included in "CIF" (Cost, Insurance, Freight) pricing. Therefore, the Company's reported prices are net of freight (shipping), insurance and sales commission. FOB prices are reported by the Company to provide clarity on the sales revenue that is recognised by SDJ, the joint venture company in Argentina
4 Excludes royalties, export tax and corporate costs

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EMP Metals Direct Lithium Extraction

The DLE method calls for using a specialized absorbent to extract lithium from brine and actively rejects impurities, creating high-quality lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. DLE is both more cost-effective and environmentally responsible than evaporation and hard-rock mining and has shown a superior recovery rate relative to traditional extraction methods.

Currently, EMP Metals has a strategic land base in Saskatchewan that comprises three projects totaling an impressive 119,739 acres. Saskatchewan is an ideal province for lithium extraction due to multiple appealing factors: existing infrastructure, a skilled local workforce and a mining-friendly government. Additionally, Saskatchewan’s Duperow Formation is supportive for using DLE recovery technology, making the project area extremely appealing as a location to build a large-scale DLE mine. The land package also contains 15 wellbores from historical surveying and natural resource recovery, potentially greatly reducing exploration and development costs.

EMP Metals Saskatchewan Lithium

EMP Metals boasts a strong technical and management team with relevant industry experience. The technical team has extensive experience in building large scale brine lifting and disposal infrastructure as well as drilling wells to all depths within Saskatchewan’s Williston Basin. Rob Gamley, President and CEO, brings over a decade of experience in corporate finance and consulting with publicly traded companies. Natashia Tsai, CFO, specializes in managing financial operations with a focus on overall business performance. Dr. Peter Pollard, Chief Geologist, has over 30 years of experience as a researcher and mineral exploration expertise. Greg Bronson, Director, also possesses over 30 years of experience in mineral exploration companies and oil and gas exploration and development. The combined team has what it takes to potentially lead EMP Metals to successfully build a large-scale DLE-based lithium mine.

Company Highlights

  • Saskatchewan is an attractive region for mining companies due to the available workforce, mining-friendly governmental policies, and the presence of existing infrastructure.
  • Focused on potential DLE amenable assets to mine lithium in Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • DLE is an innovative lithium extraction technology that has shown a higher recovery rate, costs less to operate and has a less severe environmental impact than other methods.
  • EMP Metals has ring-fenced 119,739 acres of highly prospective lithium properties in four main distinct geological locations in Saskatchewan, which includes 21 lithium-brine focused permits.

Key Projects

Saskatchewan Project

EMP Metals Saskatchewan Duperow Formation

The Saskatchewan land package is a collection of prospective lithium properties that covers 119,739 acres. EMP Metals is continuously looking to expand its project’s area by participating in land auctions and pursuing acquisition opportunities.

EMP Metals is focused on project areas in Saskatchewan due to the presence of the Duperow Formation, aregionally extensive reservoir with aquifer support. DLE aims to be an ideal recovery technology to leverage for this this geological feature and due to the presence of a high amount of lithium-rich brine.

Brine sampling of a well within EMP’s project area revealed 85.0 to 96.3 mg/L. The presence of existing deep wellbores on its permits lowers the capital costs on drilling . Additionally, it’s worth noting that an offsetting well in the area has tested up to 190 mg/l in the Duperow.. The shallower depth of the Duperow further decreases operating costs.

The next step for the project is to conduct a resource evaluation and PEA, which is slated for Q1 2022. EMP Metals aims to continually acquire land to expand its land package with the intent of creating a high-producing lithium mine.

Management Team

Rob Gamley - President and CEO

Over 10 years of corporate finance and capital markets experience, consulting to public companies across a variety of industries. VP Contact Financial Corp. – strategic communications and consulting firm.

Natasha Tsai - CFO

Managing Director of Malaspina Consultants; specializing in areas of financial operations and business performance. Was CFO with companies in a broad range of industries including mining and energy.

Dr. Peter Pollard - Chief Geologist

Over 30 years global research and mineral exploration consulting experience. Recognized expert in intrusion-related mineralized systems including Cu-Au porphyry, Sn-W-Mo-Bi-Au, Fe-oxide Cu-Au-U and Au-Ag systems.

Argentina Lithium & Energy

Argentina Lithium & Energy


Argentina is poised to become a growing leader in lithium production. The country’s government is actively encouraging foreign investment and renewable energy initiatives. Recently, the country’s administration announced an intention to increase Argentina’s production of lithium from 40,000 metric tons to 230,000 metric tons by the end of 2022. Today, Argentina is one of the top five global producers of lithium and hosts approximately 60 percent of known lithium reserves.

Argentina is home to a sizable share of the prolific Lithium Triangle, the largest resource of lithium in the world. Approximately half of the world’s lithium supply comes from the Lithium Triangle that spans Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. Some believe that the Triangle could host additional discoveries, specifically in Argentina. With the demand for lithium is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.8 to reach a market size worth $8.2 billion by 2028, opportunities in Argentina’s Lithium Triangle may present an exciting opportunity for investors.

Argentina Lithium and Energy (TSXV:LIT, OTC:PNXLF, FWB:OAY3) is a mineral exploration company focused on developing a portfolio of highly prospective lithium projects in Argentina. The company is a member of Grosso Group Management which is a resource management group that has pioneered exploration in Argentina since 1993.

Argentina Lithium & Energy Lithium Triangle

Argentina Lithium and Energy has a strong land position in Argentina with nearly 58,000 hectares of claims on four salars in the pro-mining provinces of Salta and Catamarca. The company’s properties are strategically located near key infrastructure, towns, rail, water and power. Argentina Lithium’s projects are also accessible year-round through an existing road network.

The company’s project portfolio includes Rincon West, Pocitos, Antofalla North and Incahuasi. In October 2021, the company announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent interest in the highly prospective Rincon West and Pocitos properties in the Salta Province in Argentina. The agreement is pending approval on the TSX Venture Exchange. The projects are located in the most underexplored area of the Lithium Triangle with the potential to host the discovery of high-grade lithium brines.

Argentina Lithium & Energy Rincon West Aerial View

The company’s Rincon West project is located adjacent to two significant resource development projects with proven resources owned by Rincon Resources (ASX:RCR) and Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY). The company believes that the Rincon West project may have the potential to host high-grade lithium brines.

The company’s fully-owned Antofalla North project is located in the Salta province less than 20 kilometres from Argentina’s largest lithium-producing operation at Salar de Hombre Muerto. The Antofallo North project is also located north of Albemarle Corporation’s (NYSE:ALB) Salar de Antofalla project which has grades of 350 mg/L of lithium and 6,400 mg/L of potassium.

Argentina Lithium and Energy’s fully-owned Incahuasi project is located in the Incahuasi Salar and basin. The project is north of Lake Resources’ (ASX:LKE) Kachi project. Incahuasi features maximum lithium values of 409 mg/L lithium and 1.56 percent potassium recovered in near-surface sampling to an 8-metre depth.

The company is led by Grosso Group’s management team which has a history of major mineral discoveries in Argentina, including the Mineros S.A. (TSX:MSA) Gualcamayo Gold mine, SSR Mining’s (TSX:SSRM) Chinchillas Silver Gold Zinc deposit, Pan American Silver’s (TSX:PAAS) Navidad Silver Lead project and Blue Sky Uranium’s (CVE:BSK) Amarillo Grande Uranium and Vanadium project.

Company Highlights

  • Focused on developing nearly 58,000 hectares of highly prospective lithium projects in the prolific Lithium Triangle.
  • The company’s projects include Rincon West, Pocitos, Antofalla North and Incahuasi which are strategically located near high-grade lithium projects.
    • The Rincon West and Pocitos projects are located in the most underexplored area of the Lithium Triangle with the potential to host the discovery of high-grade lithium brines.
    • The Incahuasi project features maximum lithium values of 409 mg/L lithium and 1.56 percent potassium recovered in near-surface sampling to an 8-metre depth.
  • The company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a 100 percent interest in the Rincon West and Pocitos properties, pending approval on the TSX Venture Exchange.
  • The company is a member of Grosso Group Management Ltd. which has a successful track record in making major discoveries in Argentina.

Key Projects

Rincon West

Argentina Lithium & Energy Rincon West Photo

The Rincon West project is a prospective 2,370-hectare lithium project located in the Salta province in Argentina. The project is located west of the Rincon Salar which hosts two significant resource development projects with proven reserves. These projects are owned by Rincon Resources Ltd. (ASX:RCR) and Argosy Minerals Ltd. (ASX:AGY) which Rincon West is adjacent to.

The property is situated in the Lithium Triangle with access to an international highway, pacific ports and a major electrical power corridor.

Argentina Lithium and Energy plans to begin a work program in 2022 consisting of 40 line kilometre transient electromagnetic soundings to delineate lithium brines and test the bottom of the basin. Argentina Lithium and Energy believes that the Rincon West project may have the potential to host high-grade lithium brines. The company has the option to acquire up to 100 percent in the Rincon West project, subject to TSXV approval.


The Pocitos project is a prospective 15,857-hectare lithium project located in the Salta province in Argentina. The property is situated in the Lithium Triangle with access to an international railway, pacific ports, provincial highway and a major gas pipeline.

Argentina Lithium & Energy Pocitos Project Argentina

The Pocitos project features limited historic exploration, including geophysics, surface sampling and limited drilling.

The company plans to conduct a 50 line kilometre line of transient electromagnetic soundings to detect and delineate brine concentrations for testing in 2022. The company has the option to acquire up to 100 percent in the Pocitos project, subject to TSXV approval.

Antofalla North

The Antofalla North project is a prospective 9,080-hectare lithium project located in the Salta province in Argentina. The company owns a 100 percent interest in the property and has an additional 5,380 hectares under option.

The property is situated in the Puna region with access to a provincial highway and unpaved roads. The Antofalla North project is located less than 20 kilometres from Argentina’s largest lithium-producing operation at Salar de Hombre Muerto. The Antofallo North project is also located north of Albemarle Corporation’s (NYSE:ALB) Salar de Antofalla project which has grades of 350 mg/L of lithium and 6,400 mg/L of potassium.

Argentina Lithium & Energy Antofalia North Map

Argentina Lithium and Energy has conducted a CSAMT geophysical survey that identified high-conductivity targets in the upper 100 metres and additional targets at depth.

The company plans to obtain permits, conduct a 35 line kilometre of transient electromagnetic soundings to delineate brine deposits and drill up to three diamond holes in 2022.


The 100 percent owned Incahuasi project is a high-grade 25,000-hectare lithium project located in the Incahuasi Salar and basin in the Catamarca province of Argentina. The project is north of Lake Resources’ Kachi project.

In 2017, the company completed its first exploration program consisting of initial geophysical, surface sampling and drilling programs on the property. Argentina Lithium and Energy found maximum lithium values of 409 mg/L lithium and 1.56 percent potassium recovered in near-surface sampling to an 8-metre depth. Argentina Lithium also conducted four drill holes which confirmed lithium-bearing brines with average grades of 109 mg/L of lithium and 6,718 mg/L of potassium.

The company plans to conduct a 50 line kilometre of transient electromagnetic soundings to detect and delineate new brine concentrations for testing. Argentina Lithium and Energy believes that the project is underexplored and may have the potential to host a quality lithium brine at depth.

Management Team

Nikolaos Cacos - M.I.M., President, CEO and Director

Nikolaos Cacos has over 25 years of management and advisory expertise in the mineral exploration industry. He has worked with Grosso Group since its inception and serves as a senior-level executive for all of its member companies. Cacos’ career includes administration and strategic planning for public companies. He currently serves as an officer and director of several TSX Venture Exchange-listed companies. He holds a Master’s degree in International Management from Heidelberg, Germany and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia.

Miles Rideout - Vice President of Exploration

Miles Rideout has 34 years of experience in advanced exploration practice, responsible business management, scientific team building and mining integration with local communities and indigenous peoples.

In recent positions, Rideout has directly managed the acquisition and exploration of dozens of lithium properties in northern Argentina. Previously, he served as CEO of Latin American Minerals Inc. (TSX:LAT) for 5 years in which he advanced gold and diamond projects in Paraguay. Rideout also spent 23 years with Quantec Geoscience Inc. where he initiated operations in South America and managed subsidiaries in several countries. He has experience in mine permitting, financing, construction and operations, including implementing the first operating mine in Paraguay. In addition, Rideout has deep expertise with all major geophysical technologies applied within the mining industry. He also has decades of experience working with many of the most successful exploration teams in South America. He participated in the discovery of several world-class deposits including the Collahuasi and Ujina copper-porphyry deposits, Veladero epithermal gold deposit and Navidad VMS/epithermal silver deposit. Rideout received a Bachelor of Science with Honors Certificate in Geophysics from the University of Western Ontario in 1987. Rideout is fluent in English and Spanish and has lived in Mendoza, Argentina for more than 20 years.

Connie Norman - Corporate Secretary

Connie Norman is a senior corporate officer with over 18 years of experience within the public company sector. Norman has provided corporate secretarial and regulatory compliance services. While her primary focus has been on TSX Venture-listed issuers, she has also worked with companies listed on the TSX and HKEx.

Darren C. Urquhart - CPA, CA, Chief Financial Officer

Darren Urquhart is a chartered professional accountant with 20 years of experience working in public practice and industry. Urquhart operates his public practise accounting firm in which he offers chief financial officer and accounting services to TSX Venture Exchange-listed companies in Vancouver, Canada. He has also served as director for some of his corporate clients. Urquhart began his career working as an audit accountant with Grant Thornton LLP. Later he worked as a senior tax accountant with Lohn Caulder Chartered Accountants. Urquhart obtained his chartered accountant designation in 2001 and is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia. In 1995, Urquhart graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering.

Joseph Grosso - Director

Joseph Grosso became one of the early pioneers of the mining sector in Argentina in 1993 when mining was opened to foreign investment. He was named Argentina's 'Mining Man of The Year' in 2005. His knowledge of Argentina was instrumental in attracting a premier team that led to the acquisition of key properties in Golden Arrow's portfolio. He has successfully formed strategic alliances and negotiated with mining industry majors such as Barrick, Teck, Newmont, Viceroy (now Yamana Gold) and Vale S.A. and government officials at all levels. Grosso's specialty is financing, negotiations, corporate and marketing strategy. He was an early and passionate adopter of best practices in environmental protection and socio-economic development through mineral exploration. He is the founder and president of Grosso Group Management Ltd.

John Gammon - Director

John Gammon has 40 years of experience in mineral exploration and management. His experience includes international positions with Falconbridge, assistant deputy minister mines and minerals with the Government of Ontario and, since his retirement, as ADM as a consultant working with industry, governments and universities. In addition to Dr. Gammon's mineral exploration experience, he has also spent a significant amount of time on aboriginal community and environmental issues. His knowledge of the Spanish language, South American culture and local societies coupled with his industry experience can assist the company with the advancement of its projects in Argentina.

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