Jubilee embarks on Zambia expansion strategy

Metals processing company Jubilee Metals aims to expand its operations…


Metals processing company Jubilee Metals aims to expand its operations in Zambia to produce an initial 25 000 t/y of copper.

The strategy includes the expansion of Jubilee’s copper resource base and processing capacity. As part of this strategy, Jubilee is expanding its processing facilities at its Roan concentrator and Sable refinery, both in Zambia, after it secured both significant virgin waste rock licences and overlooked copper reef opportunities.

Following the revision of the project timetable at Roan, occasioned by the logistical problems at South African ports, the expansion of the front end of the Roan concentrator is on track for commissioning by the end of the first quarter of this year.

It forms a fundamental part of Jubilee’s strategy to progress production to 13 000 t/y of copper contained in concentrates.

Manufacturing and testing of the new 50 000-t-a-month copper processing module is now completed, with the final components being prepared for transit to Roan for commissioning.

At Sable, engineering designs for a new copper concentrate line are under way. With construction on track to start in the second quarter of this year, this should see processing capacity increase to 16 000 t/y of copper contained in copper cathode and copper concentrates.

The company has also recently completed an independent survey which indicates the minimum volume estimation of material at the Waste Rock Project – the joint venture partnering with the Abu Dhabi-based International Resources Holding RSC Limited (IRH) – at surface, is 260-million tonnes.

Processing trials on the initial bulk samples from this project, undertaken at Jubilee’s development centre, have now been completed. The trials confirmed that the company can produce a high-grade copper concentrate through Jubilee’s modular copper processing units that is well suited for further refining to metal.

These trials offer opportunity to further scale the project as a potential supplier of copper concentrate to Sable refinery and major producers such as Mopani Copper Mines, which was recently acquired by IRH.

MUNKOYO PROJECT

Munkoyo is located within 50 km of Sable and will be a feed source for the Sable refinery.

An estimated 80 000 t of mined ore from Munkoyo has been tested and refined at Sable indicating copper ore grades of between 1.5% and 3%.

Jubilee has begun preparations to build an upgrading copper processing module.

Moreover, initial exploration and aerial surveying has confirmed the existence of a significant 1-km-long copper anomaly at surface. This suggests the continuation of the current near surface and exposed copper reef capable of providing Sable with a sustained long term feed resource.

Jubilee plans to start an accelerated exploration programme to better delineate the resource, targeting the expansion of current operations to reach production levels of around 25 000 t a month of run-of-mine ore over the next 12 months.

Jubilee has agreed an option to acquire Munkoyo for up to $1.5-million.

Both the large waste rock dump and the Munkoyo resources align with Jubilee’s strategy of unlocking overlooked copper resources through the application of processing capability. Jubilee has identified several further similar opportunities in Zambia which it seeks to secure in the short term as it drives to continuously increase its copper resource base as the catalyst for further expanding its processing capacity.

“I am very pleased to announce significant progress across our copper portfolio in Zambia including the discovery of a new, large-scale one-kilometre-long copper anomaly at our Munkoyo project. We continue to expand our access to copper resources overlooked by the industry, as a platform from which to expand our copper processing operations.

“At Munkoyo, early test work of approximately 80 000 t has revealed excellent copper grades of 1.5% to 3% for what was believed to be an uneconomic source of copper by previous owners.

“The discovery of this new copper anomaly has the potential to become a long-term source of supply for our Sable Refinery in the region. Munkoyo is a great example of Jubilee’s ability to convert abandoned surface projects into viable opportunities through processing excellence.

“At Roan, I am pleased to announce we have completed the manufacturing of the new modular front-end unit in South Africa, and we look forward to receiving delivery of the module in Zambia.

“Jubilee is well on track to achieving its initial target of 25 000 t of copper per annum from the implementation of these projects. In addition, we continue to make good progress on the new waste rock project with our partner IRH and completion is on track for February 29. Our focus remains on commencing the construction of the copper processing modules for this new exciting copper project,” says Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer.

Meanwhile, Jubilee has completed the manufacturing of the new front-end modular 50 000 t a month unit, which was designed by the Jubilee Technical Services (JTS) team in South Africa.

The new modular unit is pending painting before being dissembled and containerised for shipping to Zambia during February. Once installed, this module will allow Roan to process multiple feed sources in excess of 1 000 t a month of copper contained in concentrates.

The company has undertaken optimisation initiatives at Roan alongside construction to maintain copper sulphide concentrate production at 50% of its current production capacity. Further, these optimisation initiatives have performed well and have increased the copper sulphide concentrate’s copper content from 20% to above 25%.

These enhancements result in an increased revenue potential for the sale of copper sulphide concentrates in the market, while also ensuring Roan continues producing while awaiting the delivery of the new front-end module.

The company’s Sable refinery is undergoing design phase to expand the current copper sulphide concentrate circuit. This is in addition to the existing production of copper cathode from oxide ore.

Engineering designs have progressed well, and the company remains on track to commence construction in the second quarter, which will result in capacity increasing to 16 000 t/y of copper contained in cathode and concentrates.

WASTE ROCK PROJECT

As announced in November 2023, Jubilee secured one of the largest copper waste rock assets on surface in Zambia and has formed a strategic partnership with IRH.

The copper waste rock asset has been independently surveyed, confirming a minimum of 260-million tonnes of historical waste rock. Initial third-party surface sampling and random bulk surface sampling by Jubilee shows promising copper grades in these targeted areas of above 1.5%.

Jubilee is currently undertaking detailed surface waste drilling of the material to confirm overall grades. The JTS team is working with IRH to complete due diligence and is advancing towards finalising the project implementation details with a targeted date for completion of February 29.

This initiative, named the Waste Rock Project, involves using Jubilee’s modular copper units to produce around 24 000 t/y of copper units at a cost below $4 000/t.

Jubilee will design, implement and operate the Waste Rock Project. With a total projected investment of about $50-million, which will be funded by IRH in accordance with the terms of the partnership, this venture highlights Jubilee’s commitment to delivering cost-effective and environmentally sustainable mining solutions.



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