Toyota Tsusho to acquire a strategic stake in Orocobre, a successful Australian based lithium mining company, providing long term, stable supply of lithium in response to growing global demand
Toyota Tsusho Corporation (Toyota Tsusho) hereby announces it has signed a Share Subscription Agreement with Orocobre Limited (Orocobre) to become a 15% shareholder on a fully diluted basis by private placements and participation in Orocobre's public accelerated entitlement share offering, announced in conjunction with this investment. The total investment amount will be about AUS$292million.
1. Background of Investment
Lithium demand is expected to continue growing with the shift from fossil-fuel powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EV), in addition to the steady growth of lithium-ion batteries for electric devices. Demand growth to date has seen the lithium price more than doubled in the past few years.
Toyota Tsusho and Orocobre have been long term partners in the development of the Olaroz Lithium Facility in Argentina, a lithium brine project, which was brought into successful production in 2014. Toyota Tsusho, being exclusive sales agent for the Project has established a worldwide sales network for lithium from Olaroz since the first production.
2. Purpose of Investment
Through this investment, Toyota Tsusho and Orocobre will elevate their existing long term project partnership to a new level of strategic alliance. The capital injected by Toyota Tsusho’s strategic investment will be used primarily for the expansion of the Olaroz Project (Phase 2), which targets 25,000 tonnes per annum(LCE) of additional capacity. The expansion will potentially bring the total nameplate capacity of the Olaroz Project to 42,500 tonnes per annum. The Stage 2 expansion plan is expected to reach its final investment decision in mid-2018 once financing, approvals and engineering are completed, with commissioning in 2H 2019. As a key part of this strategic investment, Toyota Tsusho will be appointed as the exclusive sales agent for Phase 2 production and will secure a long term stable supply of lithium products to respond to the growing market demand.
Together with Orocobre as a strategic partner, Toyota Tsusho will accelerate not only the expansion of the Olaroz Project via development of Phase 2, but also develop the value chain via joint investment in a Lithium Hydroxide project in Japan.
- Overview of Orocobre / Olaroz Lithium Facility
・Australian listed lithium developer and producer
・Main asset: Olaroz project in Jujuy province, Argentina
・Current production: nameplate capacity 17,500 tonnes per annum (production since 2014)
・Toyota Tsusho shareholding in Orocobre: 15%
・Olaroz project: Orocobre: 66.5%, Toyota Tsusho: 25%, JEMSE: 8.5%
・Toyota Tsusho to be Exclusive Sales Agent for 100% of Olaroz production (Phase 1 and Phase 2)