Jubilee Metals Group PLC, a leader in metals processing with operations in Africa, has provided a performance update from its new and expanded, fully integrated South African Inyoni PGM and Chrome Operations and its Zambian Southern Copper Strategy.
The strategy 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 (ZAR 786 million).
- Jubilee’s new and expanded Inyoni Operations is already exceeding design throughput targets reaching 86 000 tonnes per month (tpm) of chrome and PGM containing run-of-mine (ROM) feed, together with 40 000 t of PGM containing historical tailings material, placing Jubilee on course to achieve its PGM ounce production target of 44 000 oz per year 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 to in excess of 220 000 tpm (previously 140 000 tpm) 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 tpy of chrome concentrate.
- Inyoni continuous to ramp-up production rates targeting full production rates during May 2022 and delivered 8018 PGM oz from Inyoni operation in 1Q22, 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 of Inyoni in May 2022, Jubilee expects to achieve the 43 000 PGM oz 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 1Q22 was US$433/oz, excluding transport costs of US$/oz, 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 tpy of copper units, 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 tpm of copper in concentrate 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 have 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 1200 tpy of cobalt which has the potential to add significant revenues to the Southern Copper Refining Strategy (current cobalt prices: approximately US$ 81 000/t (source LME)).
Leon Coetzer, CEO of Jubilee, comments:
“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.
“I am extremely proud of the group’s performance over the past 12 months, which is testament to the dedication and innovation of our operational teams. Despite the various issues which we have faced over the previous two years, including, at times, intense and prolonged supply chain disruptions mostly due to COVID-19, the Jubilee team has risen to the challenge and has delivered on its objectives on schedule, and on budget.
“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.
“As we emerge from this phase of significant growth and sustained financial performance, and I look forward to providing further updates as our various new projects hit their targeted output in the coming weeks and will be fully reflected in the next financial reporting period.”
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/16052022/jubilee-metals-group-provides-performance-update/
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