- Orocobre Resources (ORL) has suspended operations at its Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina following a spate of COVID-19 infections
- A total of 35 employees returned positive tests, 18 of which are thought to be linked to a single person had had previously tested negative
- The facility is currently being cleaned according to the Orocobre Bio-Security Protocol, and is expected to resume operations early this week
- Argentina recently became the fifth country to pass one million COVID-19 cases, with up to 18,000 daily infections
- Orocobre Resources (ORL) is currently down 0.4 per cent to C$2.49 per share
Orocobre Resources (ORL) has suspended operations at its Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina following a spate of COVID-19 infections.
An initial 18 cases were thought to be linked to a single person, who previously tested negative for the virus and was reportedly asymptomatic at the start of their shift.
The company said all direct and in-direct contacts with this person were quickly isolated and tested, while the remaining 189 employees at the Olaroz facility were also subjected to testing.
This lead to the identification of a further 17 infections, all of which had also tested negative at the start of their roster, resulting in a total of 35 infections.
Orocobre has now commenced an extensive cleaning of the facility in accordance with its Bio-Security Protocol, and is rotating staff to facilitate the necessary isolation requirements.
The company said that operations are anticipated to resume early this week and that “the stoppage is not expected to materially affect operational nor financial results”.
South America has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks, with Argentina becoming the fifth – and by far the smallest – country to record one million infections, following in the footsteps of the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.
More than 60 per cent of Argentinians have recently tested positive, representing up to 18,000 daily cases and a total of almost 29,000 deaths.
Medical experts suggest the one-million-case milestone is also expected to be seen in other regions of the continent over the coming weeks, including Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
Orocobre Resources (ORL) is currently down 0.4 per cent and is trading at C$2.49 per share at 9:45am EDT.