Toyota Tsusho Venture Starts Full-scale Lithium Production at Salar de Olaroz, Argentina
-First Japanese Company to Invest in Lithium Development in Argentina-
Toyota Tsusho Corporation, (Toyota Tsusho) announced today that Sales de Jujuy S.A., an Argentine lithium development company in which it owns a stake, has officially started lithium production at Salar de Olaroz in Jujuy Province, northwestern Argentina. Sales de Jujuy held a ceremony at its facilities on December 3, 2014 to mark the opening of its lithium plant. The company plans to produce 17,500 tons of lithium carbonate annually.
In January 2010, Toyota Tsusho and Australian resources developer Orocobre Limited began conducting a joint feasibility study for the development of lithium resources at Salar de Olaroz. In December 2012, development authorization and mining rights were secured from Jujuy Province, and Toyota Tsusho acquired a 25% stake in Sales de Jujuy. In August 2013, Sales de Jujuy started construction of a lithium carbonate plant to draw brine from Salar de Olaroz and refine the brine into lithium carbonate. This plant has now starts commercial production.
This project marks the first investment by a Japanese company into lithium carbonate development in Argentina. To mark the event, government officials and corporate executives from Argentina and Japan participated in the plant opening ceremony, including Argentine Jujuy Governor Eduardo Fellner, Yoshihiro Miwa, Deputy Director-General at the Embassy of Japan in Argentina, Naotaka Adachi, executive director of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, Toyota Tsusho Managing Executive Officer Yoshifumu Araki, Executive Officer Hideki Kondo, and Toyota Tsusho Argentina S.A. Director Kazuomi Tanaka.
Toyota Tsusho has acquired 100% sales rights to the lithium carbonate produced at the plant and aims to build a complete lithium supply chain，extending from upstream to downstream processes, in order to meet the expected growth in demand from Japan and other countries around the world. Shipments of lithium carbonate from the plant to Japan are expected to begin in January 2015.
Overview of Companies:
Sales de Jujuy
Company name Sales de Jujuy S.A. Location Atilio Palla 80. Los Perales. (CP 4600) S. S de Jujuy, ARGENTINA Establishment December 2012 Representative Jose de Castro Investment ratio Orocobre, 66.5%; Toyota Tsusho, 25%; JEMSE: 8.5% Business description Drawing of brine from Salar de Olaroz, Argentina and production and sales of lithium carbonate Output 17,500 tons annually (in terms of lithium carbonate)
Company name Orocobre Limited Head office Level 1 349 Coronation Drive Brisbane QLD 4064, AUSTRALIA Establishment 2005 Representative Richard Seville Business description Resources development