AltX- and Aim-listed Jubilee Metals has seen a growing demand from both small and global mining companies wanting to work with Jubilee to access the metals available in mine waste, CEO Leon Coetzer said on Wednesday.
This statement comes amid the diversified metals recovery company having reported another solid performance for the third quarter of this year.
In this same period, the company’s Hernic platinum project, in South Africa, breached Jubilee’s targeted 6 000 oz of platinum group metal (PGM) production in a single quarter for the first time since the start of production in April 2017.
The third quarter also included a new record production of 2 270 oz of PGMs produced in a single month.
The project continues to increase earnings as Jubilee focuses on further increasing the feed rate of reclaimed surface material to Hernic. Meanwhile, the operational costs for the project remain well contained, delivering a cost of less than $400 per produced PGM ounce, the company said.
The Hernic project’s earnings increased by 28% quarter-on-quarter in rand terms.
Meanwhile, the construction of Jubilee’s fine chrome recovery plant is well under way at its Dilokong Chrome Mine (DCM) platinum and chrome plant, in South Africa, and is targeting completion by November.
Once completed, the fine chrome recovery plant will target the recovery of the about 620 000 t of chrome material contained in the existing DCM tailings dam alone. An initial recovery target of 52% has been set.
The fine chrome project is expected to significantly enhance revenues and earnings for the DCM project.
This new fine chrome recovery plant also serves as a demonstration plant to the chrome industry. Jubilee has, in the interim, received several enquiries from the chrome industry to also access the fine chrome currently lost by the industry, the company said.
Production rates at DCM have been reduced to facilitate the construction and tie-in of the new fine chrome recovery plant. These reduced throughput rates will continue during the construction and commissioning of the fine chrome plant.
Additionally, Jubilee’s PlatCro platinum project, in South Africa, remains on track for commissioning in February 2019.
The construction of the material reclamation and dewatering plant is progressing to schedule, and is targeted for completion during the fourth quarter of this year. This plant will facilitate the ramp-up of material delivery to the Eland platinum concentrator targeting a rate of between 50 000 t to 60 000 t of platinum rich material a month.
Outside of South Africa’s borders, Jubilee has also seen the successful conclusion of the research and design of the zinc recovery circuit at its Kabwe lead, zinc and vanadium project, in Zambia, in the quarter under review.
The new circuit design includes pre-processing of the surface tailings to produce an upgraded product for further leaching and refining.
This upgrading of the feed material successfully buffers the project’s economic viability against largely fluctuating acid prices in Zambia.
The tried and tested techniques used to achieve the significant upgrade in feed material are developed by Jubilee initially for its chrome and PGM operations.
The refinery will target an initial throughput of about 10 000 t a month, ramping up to about 25 000 t a month at completion of the project.
The new refining circuit offers further potential to secure future ore supply from current zinc explorers in the region, Coetzer said.
As part of the current strategy, Jubilee is reviewing the potential of accessing existing zinc refining capacity located near the Kabwe project.
The relatively limited upgrade required to the refinery would offer the potential to significantly shorten the project execution time line for the zinc recovery circuit.
Jubilee has estimated an upgrade period of about four months to adapt the refinery to the Kabwe material.
During the interim period, while this potential is being assessed, the implementation of the tailings re-mining facility and the pre-processing plant for the feed material will continue at the Kabwe project.
Jubilee expects to conclude this strategy review during the fourth quarter.