Jubilee Metals Group has secured the rights to around 150mln tonnes of copper containing tailings to be refined at its Sable refinery in Zambia. The magnitude of the resource offers a “long term sustainable earnings profile” for the Zambian business, since the project holds the potential to produce copper concentrates in excess of the Sable refinery’s capacity of 14,000 tonnes per annum of copper cathode.
The new project, which was acquired by entering a joint venture with the rights holder Star Tanganika Limited, has the potential to “more than double” its current earnings profile and is the first of what will be a series of targeted copper tailings resources. The company is aiming to increase the capacity of the refinery to over 25,000 tonnes of copper per year over time. Sable is operationally ready to increase its capacity alongside the expected production build up without incurring significant new capital.
Taking a leading role in the processing of surface tailings
According to Jubilee chief executive Leon Coetzer, this agreement with Tanganika is in line with the company’s strategy to take a leading role in the processing of surface tailings in Zambia by applying proven technical know-how and IP. “Zambia contains vast quantities of copper tailings requiring Jubilee’s skills to unlock these opportunities and having worked alongside leading institutions to review these, Jubilee is now perfectly poised to play a commanding role in this area,” he said.
“We plan to construct a copper concentrator at the tailings resource which can supply both concentrate to the Sable Refinery while selling excess concentrate into the market. We are well positioned to take advantage of the expected increasing need for copper as the world’s demand for cleaner energy such as electric vehicle rapidly expands”, he added.
Jubilee’s platinum group metals (PGM) and chrome operations have returned to full capacity after having scaled down in April and May in line with South African lockdown regulations.