AT A GLANCE: Orocobre’s Q2 lithium production, sales tumble on Covid-19 shutdowns

A summary of Australia-based lithium miner Orocobre’s production results for the second quarter of 2020, as stated in its production report on Thursday July 30.

In brief

  • Orocobre attributed the drop in production and sales to the Covid-19-related temporary plant shutdown, reduced operating rates and the scaling of production to sales demand. Brine production, pond management and product deliveries continued throughout the quarter without significant interruption.
  • Decreasing sales and average price were the result of continuing weak demand and aggressive competitor pricing.
  • Cash costs for the quarter of $3,920 per tonne was the best achieved for three years excluding the export tax of $151 per tonne and Covid-19 related costs of $940,000 related to the temporary shutdown and other support measures.
  • The company continues to follow bio-security measures and daily monitoring of employee and contractor health with contingency planning in place should Covid-19 be detected within the workforce.
  • Orocobre brought forward planned maintenance to mid-July to reduce the potential of exposure during the height of the infections.

Key figures for Q2
Lithium carbonate production
2,511 tonnes, -27% year on year from 3,455 tonnes, -8% quarter on quarter from 2,732 tonnes

Lithium carbonate sales volume
1,601 tonnes, -53% year on year from 3,387 tonnes, -36% quarter on quarter from 2,518 tonnes

Average price achieved
$3,913 per tonne, -52% year on year from $8,220 per tonne, -36% quarter on quarter from $4,810 per tonne