Records galore send lithium miner Orocobre into the stratosphere
Lithium miner Orocobre soared 14 per cent after reporting a $US19.4 million ($A25 million) full-year profit thanks to record production.
Orocobre’s shares closed up 48c yesterday at $3.86 making it one of the biggest gainers on the ASX.
The record after-tax profit comes after a $US22 million loss in 2016 and took into account an $US8.1 million write-down on its chemical plant Borax Argentina and $US14.8 million sale of assets.
Orocobre (ASX:ORE) has a strong balance sheet with $US51.6 million cash, up 42 per cent on last year.
Its majority-owned Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina produced a record 11,862 tonnes of lithium carbonate, up 72 per cent on last year. Sales revenue came in at $US120 million, up from $US15 million.
“In 2017, Orocobre came to the fore as a mainstream, profitable, low-cost producer of lithium carbonate,” Orocobre chief Richard Seville said.
“We continued to develop and expand our customer base as we produced 11,682 tonnes of lithium carbonate from one of the lowest cost bases in our industry.”
Global market fundamentals for lithium remained intact with strong demand, tight supply and attractive pricing, he said.
“In meeting market demand, Orocobre will grow organically through a staged series of expansions at Olaroz for select partners in the battery market.”
Orocobre plans to double peoduction at its Olaroz facility, coupled with a 10,000 tonne lithium hydroxide plant to be built with Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
The projects would not require further capital raising.