Jubilee Metals Ramps Up Zambian Copper Operations with Open-Cast Mine Acquisitions

Johannesburg-listed Jubilee Metals has taken a significant stride towards solidifying its position as a key player in Zambia’s copper industry. The company, known for its innovative approach to metal recovery, has acquired two operational open-cast copper mines in the country.

This strategic move comes as Jubilee actively pursues its integrated copper strategy in Zambia. Jubilee CEO, Leon Coetzer, emphasized the company’s expertise in leveraging its processing capabilities to secure readily available, near-surface copper resources. “These acquisitions perfectly exemplify our ability to identify and capitalize on such opportunities,” Coetzer remarked.

The two new mines bolster Jubilee’s existing Zambian operations, which include the recently upgraded and expanded Roan facility. Commissioning for the improved Roan is already underway, with an offtake agreement secured for stockpiled, low-grade mined material to feed the expanded plant. Preprocessing of additional targeted materials has also begun in anticipation of an accelerated ramp-up in July.

Looking to expand its Sable Refinery’s output to a targeted 16,000 tonnes of copper annually, Jubilee has strategically acquired the first open-cast mine for a combination of cash and shares. This mine boasts a projected monthly output of 25,000 tonnes of copper grading between 3% and 4%. The second mine, acquired solely through shares, is expected to ramp up to a monthly production of 20,000 tonnes at a similar grade. Both mines boast a lifespan exceeding eight years.

“Reaching this critical commissioning point for the Roan Upgrade is a testament to the team’s hard work,” said Coetzer. “We are confident they will deliver an accelerated commissioning and ramp-up of operations in the coming month.”

The Roan upgrade and Sable Refinery provide Jubilee with significant processing flexibility, allowing them to pursue a wider range of copper resources. Notably, the company’s integrated copper strategy focuses on extracting value from resources traditionally overlooked by the industry – tailings, low-grade processed materials, and near-surface copper reefs accessible through open-cast mining.

Jubilee’s success in securing these diverse resources allows them to transition Sable into a dedicated open-cast operation processor, while the upgraded Roan will handle low-grade and previously processed materials. The two facilities are envisioned to operate independently. With Sable operating at full capacity, Roan will either trade its copper concentrate or, with further investment, expand its operations to include downstream refining.

Jubilee’s targeted combined processing capacity sits at 25,000 tonnes per year, with Sable contributing 16,000 tonnes and Roan contributing between 8,000 and 9,000 tonnes depending on the copper feed grades.

It’s important to note that Jubilee’s strategy extends beyond these recent acquisitions. The company is also moving forward with the previously announced Waste Rock Project, which falls under the low-grade material category. This project, undertaken in partnership with IRH based in Abu Dhabi, is undergoing further resource drilling and processing tests as part of a comprehensive technical study.

Looking ahead, Jubilee plans to establish a satellite upgrade facility near both newly acquired mines within the next year. This aligns with their strategy of implementing regional material upgrading facilities before the refining stage.

The company’s continued growth is bolstered by its pioneering technical development centre and its existing production of chrome and platinum group metals in South Africa. Jubilee’s commitment to innovation and strategic acquisitions positions them for significant future growth in Zambia’s copper industry.

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