|By Marketwired .||
|November 4, 2012 08:55 PM EST||
MILTON, QUEENSLAND -- (Marketwire) -- 11/05/12 -- Orocobre Limited (TSX:ORL)(ASX:ORE) ("the Company") is pleased to announce that the Company has completed a placement of 12.35 million ordinary shares to institutional investors in Australia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States at an issue price of A$1.70 per share, raising A$21 million prior to expenses. The share placement was approximately 50% oversubscribed. The issue price represents an 8.0% discount to the ASX closing price prior to the Company entering into a trading halt on 1 November.
The Lead Manager and Book-runner to the placement was Cannacord Genuity (Australia) Ltd, with support from Cormark Securities Inc., and Patersons Securities Ltd.
The proceeds of this capital raising will be used to fund Orocobre's remaining equity contribution for the construction of the Olaroz lithium project, fund Borax Argentina initiatives, and for working capital.
In addition, the Company will be offering eligible existing shareholders an opportunity to participate in a Shareholder Purchase Plan ("SPP") at the same issue price as the institutional placement. The SPP will be capped at A$5 million. Details of the SPP will be announced shortly.
The completion of the equity raising follows the 17 October 2012 announcement of Toyota Tsusho Corporation's ("TTC") equity investment of approximately US$55 million in Orocobre's Olaroz Lithium Project, and the associated low interest US$192 million project debt facilities from Mizuho Corporate Bank with guarantees from Toyota Tsusho and JOGMEC. With detailed design engineering completed and site establishment advanced, full construction is due to start shortly, with commercial production expected to commence in Q2 2014.
Managing Director Richard Seville, said, "We continue to receive strong support from both Australian and international institutional investors. The level of investor interest in this offering reflects confidence in Orocobre and our lithium and industrial mineral assets in Argentina. The $5 million SPP provides the first opportunity for smaller shareholders to invest in the company since the 1:8 rights issue over 3 years ago."
Mr Seville added, "With completion of this raising, Olaroz is fully funded through to production. Although it was not a pre-requisite to commencement of construction under the TTC Joint Venture Agreement, given current equity market conditions, we deemed it prudent to close the recognised small funding gap sooner rather than later and remove any funding uncertainty. In addition, some funds will be allocated towards enhancing our recently acquired Borax Argentina business. This will include some short term initiatives and to undertake drilling programs to upgrade the historical estimates to JORC complaint resources and to undertake feasibility studies in relation to expanded production and the longer term development of the business."
About Orocobre Limited
Orocobre Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:ORL)(ASX:ORE), and is building a substantial Argentinian-based industrial minerals company through the construction and operation of its portfolio of lithium, potash and boron projects and facilities in the Puna region of northern Argentina. The Company is building in partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation and JEMSE, the first large-scale, "greenfield" brine based lithium plant in nearly 20 years at the Salar de Olaroz. This high margin project has a planned production rate after ramp up of 17,500 tonnes per annum of battery grade lithium carbonate scheduled to commence in Q2 2014. The Company also wholly-owns Borax Argentina, an important regional borate producer. Orocobre has recently been included in the S&P/ASX 300 Index. For further information, please visit www.orocobre.com.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking information contained in this release includes, but is not limited to, the financing of the Olaroz Project, the completion of definitive lending documentation with Mizuho and JOGMEC the provision of required guarantees by TTC and JOGMEC, the commencement and completion of construction at the Olaroz Project and the timing thereof, the commencement of commercial production at the Olaroz Project and the timing thereof, the estimated capital cost of the Olaroz Project, the design production rate for lithium carbonate and potash at the Olaroz Project, the expected brine grade at the Olaroz Project, the expected operating costs at the Olaroz Project and the comparison of such expected costs to expected global operating costs, and the ongoing working relationship between Orocobre and the Province of Jujuy.
Such forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to the risk of further changes in government regulations, policies or legislation; the possibility that required concessions may not be obtained, or may be obtained only on terms and conditions that are materially worse than anticipated; the risk that required guarantees will not be provided or that the project financing will otherwise not be completed with Mizuho Corporate Bank and JOGMEC; that further funding may be required, but unavailable, for the ongoing development of the Company's projects; fluctuations or decreases in commodity prices; uncertainty in the estimation, economic viability, recoverability and processing of mineral resources; risks associated with weather patterns and impact on production rate; risks associated with construction and development of the Olaroz Project; unexpected capital or operating cost increases; uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones at the Olaroz Project; general risks associated with the feasibility and development of the Olaroz Project; as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's Annual Information Form for the year ended June 30, 2012 filed at www.sedar.com.
The Company believes that the assumptions and expectations reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable. Assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: the timely receipt of required approvals and completion of agreements on reasonable terms and conditions; the ability of the Company to obtain financing as and when required and on reasonable terms and conditions; the prices of lithium and potash; and the ability of the Company to operate in a safe, efficient and effective manner. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all factors and assumptions which may have been used. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
ABN 31 112 589 910
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