Jubilee Metals Group, with operations in Africa provides a performance update of its new and expanded fully integrated South African Inyoni PGM and Chrome Operations and its Zambian Southern Copper Strategy, which involves integrating the Sable Copper and Cobalt refinery with the newly constructed copper concentrator, Project Roan. This new and significantly enlarged operational footprint follows an investment programme implemented over the past 12 months of £ 39.5 million (R786 million).
Leon Coetzer, CEO of Jubilee, commented: “The Jubilee team was bold in its plans to expand and optimise the South African and Zambian operations, however a confident, but prudent approach to the deployment of our £ 39.5 million investment programme has already resulted in the delivery of significant results for the Group.
“Rolling out our business case across multiple countries, operations and commodities has enabled us to de-risk, capture economies of scale, and also provided exposure to numerous value points throughout the recovery and metal processing chain. In addition, our expanding production profile and the economies of scale it provides, offers insulation from the inflationary pressures smaller operators are facing, enabling Jubilee to maintain a cost per PGM ounce produced when fully accounting for the chrome by-product production credits resulting in a net cost of below US$ 450 per PGM ounce when excluding transport cost. Our eastern limb expansion strategy holds the additional benefit of significantly reducing transport cost of material from this region which makes up the bulk of current transport cost.
“Crucially, and in line with our goals to promote sustained, inclusive economic growth, the Southern Copper Refining Strategy has resulted in significant job creation, with total jobs filled in Zambia reaching near 800 during the last 12 months. We have prioritised the sourcing of skills and services from our local communities and have, in many instances, partnered with local firms to assist in their growth and development to offer a sustained service to our projects. With the completion of the construction of Project Roan we now look to accelerate our investment program into the Northern Refining Strategy targeting the Luanshya, Kitwe and Mufulira area.”
- Jubilee’s new and expanded Inyoni Operations is already exceeding design throughput targets reaching 86 000 tonnes per month of chrome and PGM containing run-of-mine (ROM) feed, together with 40 000 tonnes of PGM containing historical tailings material, placing Jubilee on course to achieve its PGM ounce production target of 44 000 ounces per annum through its 100% owned Inyoni alone (previous max design capacity 30 000 ounces), replacing any reliance on existing PGM recovery joint ventures
- The company’s significantly increased chrome ore beneficiation capacity in excess of 220 000 tonnes per month (previously 140 000 tonnes per month) of ROM feed and tailings, allows the company to sharply increase the production of chrome concentrates from the various feed streams as an offset cost to its PGM production costs; Jubilee targets to produce 1.2 million tonnes of chrome concentrate per annum
- Inyoni continuous to ramp-up production rates targeting full production rates during May 2022 and delivered 8 018 PGM ounces from Inyoni operation in calendar Q1 CY2022, an increase of 75% when compared with Inyoni’s average production rate of the previous two quarters despite refilling of the operational pipeline after start-up. With the completion of the ramp-up if Inyoni during May 2022 Jubilee expects to achieve the 43 000 PGM ounce guidance for the financial period end to June 2022
- On a chrome by-product credits basis, Jubilee’s net cost to produce an ounce of PGM during Q1 CY2022 was US$ 433 per ounce excluding transport costs of US$ 198 per ounce, which transport cost will be reduce significantly once the company’s eastern limb expansion strategy to establish a PGM processing footprint in the eastern limb is successfully implemented
- Significant milestones achieved in the delivery of the Southern Copper Refining Strategy in Zambia, 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:
- Project Roan commissioning activities are nearing conclusion with the official hand-over of the new copper concentrator to the operational team. The ramp-up of the concentrator is expected to reach design capacities during July 2022, which targets the processing of 830 tonnes of copper in concentrate per month for refining at Sable
- Project Roan has to date created local employment opportunities to almost 600 people as part of the construction and operational team. The project has brought investment, employment and opportunities for local service providers to the region
- Jubilee’s Project Roan and Sable Refinery combined has offered employment and contractor opportunities to more than 800 people, the most of which are long term, while Jubilee has prioritised local supply of services often working with local companies to assist in developing the required services to create a sustainable support infrastructure
- In addition to the copper refining capacity at Sable, the construction of a cobalt refining circuit at the site is underway and expected to commence commissioning during June 2022
- Initial design capacity able to produce up to 1 200 tonnes of cobalt per annum which has the potential to add significant revenues to the Southern Copper Refining Strategy (current cobalt prices c. US$ 81 000 per tonne (source LME))