Jubilee Metals, a metals processing company listed on the London Aim and JSE AltX exchanges, announced on Tuesday that it had signed a binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the refining of copper and cobalt, two highly sought-after green metals.
The MoU with Mopani, a Zambian subsidiary of ZCCM Investment, calls for the expansion of copper and cobalt refining capacity by recapitalizing Mopani’s existing refining capacity, which is currently under care and maintenance.
Jubilee’s existing copper refining capacity will be increased by 17 000 t/y of copper with this additional refining capacity.
Together with the Sable Refinery, this increases the group’s total potential refining capacity to more than 31 000 t/y.
The agreement removes the need for Jubilee to build a new processing facility to process the nearby tailings deposits it secured last year.
“Our engineers are already on-site working alongside the Mopani team to upgrade the detailed project designs as we accelerate the implementation. I look forward to working with the Mopani team as we deliver this project and continue to further explore opportunities for collaboration,” said Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer in a media release to Mining Weekly.
The project will establish Jubilee’s northern Zambian refining footprint for the refining of the copper and cobalt concentrates produced at Jubilee’s Kitwe and the Luanshya copper and cobalt tailings.
Jubilee’s Sable Refinery will be dedicated to the refining of concentrates produced by its Project Roan currently under construction and set to commence commissioning in November 2021 as well as its copper tailings at Kabwe and contracted third-party ore suppliers.
Under a collaborative framework, the agreement brings together Jubilee’s tailings processing capability and Mopani’s established access to existing refining infrastructure for about 275-million tonnes of surface copper and cobalt tailings in the region.
The agreement enables Jubilee to accelerate the implementation of its Zambian copper strategy at significantly reduced capital and Mopani gains additional copper units for its smelting operations through the first right of refusal for offtake at market rates of copper sulphide concentrates produced by the project. All oxide associated copper will be refined by the project to copper metal by Jubilee refurbishing and expanding existing refining and supporting infrastructure at Mopani.