July 30 (Reuters) - Orocobre Ltd said on Thursday
quarterly production fell 27% at its flagship Olaroz mine, and
the Australian lithium miner brought forward a planned
maintenance for the Argentinian project due to a spike in
COVID-19 cases at nearby operations.
Production from the Olaroz plant for the June quarter came
in at 2,732 tonnes, down from 3,455 tonnes last year, due to a
temporary shutdown put in place following coronavirus-related
While operations have continued with a limited workforce,
new COVID-19 infections have emerged at nearby operations and in
some local communities, the Brisbane-based company said, adding
that average prices for its lithium carbonate dropped 19% to
$3,913 per tonne on-quarter.
Orocobre said while the global lithium market has suffered a
setback due to the coronavirus crisis, the medium- to long-term
outlook remains positive, owing to an increase in government
regulation and funding.
"The pandemic has delivered accelerated investment by some
jurisdictions into electric transportation which should have
medium- to long-term benefits but it remains unclear when this
will be reflected in lithium chemical prices," the company said
in a statement.
The miner also expects to book a non-cash impairment charge
of about $28 million before tax in its annual results related to
an acquisition and write-downs in finished goods and brine
(Reporting by Arpit Nayak in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry