Dignitaries attending included Jujuy Province Governor Dr. Eduardo Fellner, National Mining Secretary Eng. Jorge Mayoral, Yoshihiro Miwa, Deputy Director General of the Embassy of Japan in Argentina, Naotaka Adachi, Executive Director of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) as well as executives from the project JV partners and Mizuho Bank. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President of Argentina participated in the opening ceremony with a special address via video conferencing, offering congratulations to all involved in the achievement at Olaroz. Orocobre was represented by Chairman, James Calaway, Managing Director, Richard Seville and Country Manager, Jose de Castro amongst others. Approximately 400 people attended the opening ceremony including government department representatives, employees, contractors, suppliers and members of the local communities.
A common theme of the speeches made was that the project's success was due to its strong partnerships, its use of local contractors and the teamwork of all those involved. In particular the relationship with, and inclusion of, the local communities in the development plans was highlighted.
Richard Seville Managing Director and CEO of Orocobre said:
"It is almost exactly seven years since we first traded on the ASX on the 4th December 2007 with the hope that our Olaroz lithium project would have real merit. It is hard to believe that in such a short time we have taken Olaroz through exploration, feasibility studies, permitting, financing, construction and now on to the commencement of production. I would like to publicly thank all of the Sales de Jujuy/Orocobre team, our partners TTC and JEMSE, our financiers Mizuho and JOGMEC, our contractors and suppliers and the members of the communities where we operate. We are looking forward to becoming a major reliable supplier of lithium chemicals to worldwide industry."
More images and a video of the opening ceremony are available in the gallery on the Company website.
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About Orocobre Limited
Orocobre Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (ASX:ORE) (TSE:ORL) (OTCMKTS:OROCF), and is building a substantial Argentine based industrial chemicals company through its portfolio of lithium, potash and boron assets. In partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) and JEMSE, Orocobre has built and is now operating the world's first commercial, brine-based lithium operation constructed in approximately 20 years.
In 2018 Orocobre announced the Stage 2 Expansion of its flagship Olaroz Lithium Facility in Argentina. The Stage 2 Expansion will add 25,000 tpa of lithium carbonate production capacity, taking full production and capacity to 42,500 tpa of lithium carbonate for sale to industrial, technical and battery markets, positioning Orocobre as one of the world's largest and lowest cost lithium chemicals producers.
Additionally, Orocobre and Toyota Tsusho Corporation have commenced construction of the 10,000 tpa lithium hydroxide plant in Naraha, Japan. The construction of the Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant will further cement Orocobre's position as a global lithium chemicals producer operating at the bottom quartile of the lithium cost curve. This new hydroxide plant will be the first of its kind in Japan and will provide Orocobre product diversification suitable for different battery technologies and the potential for significant margin growth on our primary lithium carbonate being converted to battery grade lithium hydroxide.