Surface mine tailings and discards at the Kabwe project will soon be utilised to recover lead, zinc and vanadium.
Jubillee Platinum and BMR Group have established a joint venture – Kabwe Operations to recover the minerals from an estimated 3.2 million JORC compliant tonnes of surface assets.
The JV will finance and execute the approved works program with commercial production of lead and zinc expected in 2018.
“I am delighted to announce that we have successfully secured access to this exciting surface project that extends our reach beyond the South African bushveld complex and into other commodities.
This transaction is in line with our mission to take our brand and expertise across country borders and commodities. This project is meaningful in scope, diversity and potential contribution to the company’s earnings,” said Leon Coetzer, Jubilee’s Chief Executive Officer.
Coetzer said the project will benefits from existing infrastructure including power, water and building infrastructure, which significantly reduces the required project capital and shortens the implementation time line.
“In entering into this agreement, we are acutely aware of the significant further opportunities presented within Zambia and will be actively exploring these opportunities,” Coetzer said.
The Kabwe mine was discovered in 1902 and commenced operations in 1904, reaching full-scale production in 1906. It officially closed on June 3, 1994 due to its operations becoming uneconomic at that time.
The site was placed under care and maintenance by the national mining company, The Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM).
For 88 years of continuous operation until final closure in 1994, Kabwe was regarded as one of the famous mines in Africa and held a key position of national economic importance.
On closure of the operations, much of the site area and plant infrastructure was sold in discrete lots to private investors, with the overall responsibility for decommissioning and rehabilitation of the sites retained by ZCCM.