Jubilee Metals Group PLC (Altx:JBL / LON:JLP), a leader in metals processing with operations in Africa, has announced an update at its Zambian operations where the integration of the Sable Copper and Cobalt refinery with the newly constructed copper concentrator, Project Roan, continues as part of Jubilee’s Southern Refining Strategy.
– Cobalt refining circuit at the Sable Refinery entered the commissioning phase during June 2022 in line with original timing expectations, with first trial cobalt product produced per the expected commissioning and ramp up schedule:
o Commercial production is targeted to commence during August 2022
o The cobalt refining circuit at Sable is able to produce up to 1 200 tonnes of cobalt a year depending on the feed grade
– Commissioning and ramp up is progressing at the Project Roan concentrator reaching 65% of designed capacity with first filtered copper concentrate produced for refining at Sable as part of commissioning and ramp-up activities:
o Ramp-up of the concentrator is expected to reach design capacities by the end of July 2022
o At capacity, targets the processing of 830 tonnes of copper in concentrate per month for refining at Sable
o Part of overall Southern Refining Strategy to reach 12 000 tonnes per annum of copper production capacity
o Significant employment opportunities created, and local suppliers prioritised, to create a locally sustainable support infrastructure
Leon Coetzer, Jubilee Metals Group CEO, commented: “Reaching these significant milestones announced today put us in great stead for the financial year ahead, and beyond. It is testament to all the hard work by the Jubilee team that over the past 12 months have delivered on a bold implementation plan across both the PGM and chrome operations in South Africa and the copper and cobalt operations in Zambia.
“During this period in South Africa we delivered a new and upgraded Inyoni PGM facility to reach 45 000 PGM ounces per annum which includes a newly constructed and fully integrated 80 000 tonnes per month chrome beneficiation circuit. The circuit was further complimented with the inclusion of Jubilee’s renowned ultra-fine chrome circuit earlier this year.
“In Zambia we have reached a key deliverable in the implementation of our copper and cobalt strategy as we announce the commissioning of the cobalt refining circuit at the Sable Refinery while ensuring that it is operationally ready to refine the copper concentrate from our newly commissioned Roan copper concentrator. The Roan concentrator, with the ability to produce an additional 10 000 tonnes of copper units annually for refining at Sable, continues to ramp-up its throughput in line with the commissioning schedule, reaching 65% of its design capacity to date and is expected to reach its full design capacity during July 2022.
“The Roan copper concentrator completes the implementation of Jubilee’s Southern Refining Strategy targeted to deliver up to 12 000 tonnes of copper units per annum. This progress of the Southern Refining Strategy paves the way for the acceleration of our Northern Refining Strategy as we continue our expansion in Zambia and I look forward to reporting in future on the potential step-up in Jubilee’s earnings on the back of this, and other, successful projects.”
Jubilee’s copper strategy in Zambia includes, as its first phase, the implementation of its Southern Refining Strategy which targets to produce up to 12 000 tonnes of copper units per annum including a cobalt by-product from certain cobalt containing feed streams.
The strategy integrates the upgraded Sable Refinery with Project Roan, a new copper concentrator processing both Run-Of-Mine copper ore as well as tailings to produce copper concentrates for refining at Sable (10 000 tonnes per annum), which complements the existing supply of third-party feed to Sable refinery (2 000 tonnes per annum). The integrated Southern Refining Strategy’s capital allocation is c. £ 19 million (ZAR 378 million).
Jubilee’s project execution team broke ground for the construction of the new copper concentrator, Project Roan, in June 2021 and despite the challenges caused by the COVID 19 pandemic and its effect on supply chains the team was able to commence testing of certain equipment within seven months and completed all construction activity within 11 months which remains a remarkable achievement. Project Roan has reached a production throughput level pf 65% of design capacity and is expected to complete the ramp-up of the operation, which targets 830 tonnes of copper per month, during July 2022.
In addition to the copper refining capacity at Sable, Jubilee approved the implementation of a cobalt refining circuit at Sable able to produce up to 1 200 tonnes of cobalt per annum depending on the feed grade to the circuit. The new cobalt circuit commenced commissioning during June 2022 with the first test product produced as part of the commission of the circuit targeting to commence commercial production during August 2022.
Crucially, and in line with Jubilee’s goals to promote sustained, inclusive economic growth, the Southern Refining Strategy has resulted in significant job creation, with total jobs filled in Zambia reaching over 700 during the last 12 months. Jubilee has prioritised sourcing of skills and services from its local communities and has in many instances partnered with local firms to assist in their growth and development to offer a sustained service to its projects.
13 July 2022