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Jubilee resolves Zambia copper concentrator issue; cites successful trial of new extractive methods

(Mining Weekly)-Aim- and AltX-listed Jubilee Metals Group has completed a water infrastructure upgrade at its Roan copper concentrator, in Zambia, and continues to advance cobalt and copper production from waste at its Sable refinery, which is also located in Zambia.

The Roan copper concentrator had faced persistent water supply interruptions that severely hampered the project’s ability to operate at design throughput levels. The upgrades will help the plant resume nameplate capacity production levels.

Meanwhile, the company continues to progress the ramp-up, to commercial level, of new extractive methods for the recovery of copper and cobalt from historical waste at the Sable refinery. These developments provide unique solutions to unlocking value from the project.

In particular, Jubilee has been focused on a direct leaching approach to copper production at the Sable refinery, which bypasses the need for traditional power-intensive smelting of copper sulphide concentrates.

These trials have been effective and have enabled significantly lower operating costs, as well as the production of copper from mixed materials, such as copper sulphide and copper oxide ores.

Jubilee believes this new approach to extraction offers significant growth opportunities in the country.

As a result, the company is examining new run-of-mine material agreements with third-party producers, which offer the potential to further enhance growth for its operations at the Sable refinery.

In terms of cobalt production, Jubilee is targeting 50 t of contained cobalt metal production initially, which is the equivalent of about 220 t of final product. The company intends to ramp this up to 1 200 t/y of contained cobalt metal, which equates to about 5 200 t of final product.

With Jubilee’s efforts to solving the technical challenges, it places the company in a unique position to pursue “tremendous” potential growth opportunities in the efficient recovery of cobalt from historical wastes, including from mixed copper/cobalt materials, the company says.

The company is considering options to increase the production of cobalt through the potential acquisition of refining infrastructures to expand its cobalt footprint in Zambia.

The additional cobalt revenue offers the company further opportunities to secure metal-backed funding in support of the implementation of its Northern Refining Strategy.

The company further announces that it has undertaken a restructuring of its executive team in line with its expanding production profile, and ahead of its next phase of growth in Zambia through the Northern Refining Strategy.

In this regard, Jubilee has expanded its commercial and financial management teams in South Africa and Zambia to both further strengthen its corporate governance as well as dedicate commercial teams to Zambia in support of its project execution team.

Among the changes include the company appointing chief strategy officer Pedja Kovacevic as group CFO effective immediately, succeeding outgoing CFO Peet van Coller.

CEO Leon Coetzer says the company has managed to bring the entire Southern Copper Strategy into nameplate production and that the next quarter will see a new source of revenue for Jubilee in the form of cobalt sales.

“We now focus our attention on unlocking the potential of the Northern Refining Strategy in Zambia,” he notes.


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