Jubilee Metals Group plc (LON:JLP) Chief Executive Officer Leon Coetzer caught up with DirectorsTalk to discuss the strategic value of the additional PGM supply agreements, expansion within the chrome and PGM operations and what’s next for the group.
Q1: Leon, you make reference in this morning’s announcement of the strategic value of these additional PGM feed supply agreements. Can you elaborate on these for us please?
A1: This morning, Jubilee Metals Group announced the fact that our company has signed a long-term – which is quite significant – supply agreement of PGM feed material to our group.
It’s quite a significant contract, both in quantity where we ‘re speaking of nearly 1600 of feed per month being secured, and over a very long period, it’s over the life of this mine which is in excess of 10 years.
It’s strategic because it also comes from a very different region in South Africa where we have been focusing. Just to explain, our current facility and the various supply agreements we have for our facility, our Inyoni PGM plant is in what they call the Western Limb area of South Africa. South Africa has two main Platinum Group Metals areas which is the Western Limb and the Eastern Limb, this supply agreement comes from the Eastern Limb which is specific in the reef type which is the LG6 reef type which is very significant because of its very high quantities of rhodium.
We have always wanted to and have focussed on expanding our footprint into this Eastern Limb because, from there, we can exploit very many other opportunities in the Eastern Limb. It gives us optionality, not only additional PGM ounces to our facility but gives us the optionality to pursue in the medium-term, another PGM processing facility within the Eastern Limb.
I have no doubt that the success of this contract and the manner in which has been structured, there’ll be more to follow in the Eastern Limb. It’s a significant contributor to additional feed to our company, and, with that, additional earnings, and revenue.
Q2: With all of the construction underway at your operations, am I correct to read that both the chrome and the PGM side of the business is expanding now?
A2: Yes, very much. We have gone through a phase of a lot of construction, only towards the end of last year we announced that our Windsor-8 new chrome recovery plant was commissioned and went into full operational mode.
This year, we were in the construction mode of a very large additional chrome beneficiation circuit, 80,000 tonnes a month of it, that’s gone into its final cycle of commissioning. What that means is it’s now been integrated and tied into our PGM facility as it will feed directly into our PGM facility going forward.
So, a very large plant coming to its end and with that, our chrome processing capacity expands to nearly 255,000 tonnes per month, it’s very important because, of course, the chrome beneficiation circuits produce as they’re secondary product our PGM feed through our PGM facilities.
We’ve also commenced the construction of the expanded PGM plant that we currently have, we’re taking that from a 55,000 a month plant up to 75,000 tonnes a month plant in the Western Limb. It’s both driven by the expanding chrome company within our group that needs more capacity for PGM’s and, as this morning’s announcements shows, our ability to constantly secure more and more PGM supply sources to our company because of the manner in which we contract with our clients.
Q3: What’s next on the horizon for Jubilee Metals Group?
A3: There certainly is a lot going on, we’ve not even talked about what’s happening in Zambia and our copper side.
As a company, and as a group, we’ve always had the view that the earnings we make, a significant portion of that is ploughed into our company to secure longevity and to secure high earnings in projects as we grow our company and also diversify our feed supplies into our various facilities.
What can one expect to come in the near-term? I have no doubt that on the back of this announcement, that more such transactions will follow in the Eastern Limb, we’ve broken into that area, we’ve shown the area our efficiencies, the manner in which we do business and I’ve no doubt that more opportunities will follow.
Of course, what is to come is the exciting part in Zambia where the development of our copper projects there are rapidly developing, they are significant processing breakthrough s being made by our development centre which will flow into the designs of our copper circuits which will become known quite shortly. With that, it brings additional opportunities for us in copper and in Zambia and I look forward to bringing that to our shareholders as our copper, which was a vision and a focus, now it has turned into a reality in our group.