AT A GLANCE: Orocobre’s lithium production, prices down in March quarter

A summary of Australia-based lithium miner Orocobre’s production results for the first quarter of 2020, as stated in its production report on Wednesday April 22.

In brief

  • The company attributed the drop in production to the temporarily halt in operations in response to the Argentine government’s Covid-19 quarantine restrictions and planned maintenance that resulted in 21 days of lost production.
  • Decreasing sales and average price were the result of continuing weak demand and aggressive competitor behavior. Moreover, the spread of Covid-19 caused pressure on supply and demand at the same time.
  • Operations remained cashflow positive with gross cash margins excluding export tax of A$838 ($527) per tonne.
  • Production guidance was withdrawn for financial year 2020 due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding operational performance and uncertain future demand.

First quarter key figures
(year-on-year change)

Lithium carbonate production
2,732 tonnes, down 11%

Lithium carbonate sales volume
2,518 tonnes, down 29%

Average price received
$4,810 per tonne, down 49%

Gross cash margin
A$838 per tonne, down 84%