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Copper to be recovered from yet another on-surface copper resource in Zambia

Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer at the Roan operations.

Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer at the Roan operations.

12th December 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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JOHANNESBURG ( – A Johannesburg-listed company, in strategic partnership with a Middle Eastern conglomerate, has secured one of the largest copper waste rock assets on surface in Zambia.

JSE AltX company Jubilee Metals, in partnership with International Resources Holding (IRH) of the United Arab Emirates, is to recover copper from the estimated 350-million tonnes of dumped material, which early preliminary surface sampling results indicate has zones with grades higher than 1.5% copper.

While IRH has undertaken to provide all capital required through a combination of equity and shareholder loans, Jubilee has been appointed to design, implement, and operate the mining and processing solution.

An affiliate of the large Abu Dhabi International Holding Company conglomerate, IRH was earlier this month selected as the preferred strategic equity partner for Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines, owner of the Mufulira slag dump project that has also been awarded to Jubilee. IRH is taking steps to invest in critical metals and develop a new entity that encompasses the entire metals and mining supply chain.

Meanwhile, the technical services team of Jubilee, which is also quoted on the London AIM, has begun resource definition and process technical review with the aim of completing the project implementation detail within the next 60 days.

Processing by Jubilee’s newly developed modular copper units aims to produce, from this historical waste rock dump, more than 20 000 t/y of copper at below $4 000/t of copper.

Overall project costs, taking in mining equipment and project infrastructure, are likely to be about $50-million.

Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, with commissioning 12 months after commencement.

Jubilee has a binding funding term sheet with IRH to form a dedicated special purpose vehicle through which both the acquisition of the copper waste rock asset and implementation of the processing solution will be funded.

The transaction has catapulted Jubilee's Zambia expansion still further and will fast-track the implementation of its modular copper processing units in the country, with the potential to far exceed Jubilee’s goal of reaching 25 000 t of copper a year.

The partnership combines Jubilee’s technical and operational experience with IRH’s strategic Zambia copper focus and financial support, Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

Its strategic significance is enhanced by the selection of IRH as the preferred strategic equity partner for Zambia’s Mopani, Coetzer added.

Jubilee’s copper processing modules help to rehabilitate environmentally unfriendly dumps that have accumulated over decades of copper mining in Zambia and this latest waste rock project will provide employment opportunities and strengthen the local economy in Zambia.


Jubilee, which has developed metal extraction solutions from waste and overlooked materials, has already secured 300-million tonnes of copper and cobalt tailings in Zambia for upgrading and refining.

Its multi-project portfolio across South Africa and Zambia provides exposure to a commodity basket that includes platinum group metals (PGMs), chrome, copper and cobalt.

It processes up to 44 000 oz/y of PGMs in South Africa and recently countered the drop in the PGMs basket price by expanding chrome operations into higher-margin offtake agreements.

At Mopani’s Mufulira, Jubilee is aiming to process about 13-million tonnes of slag, estimated to contain 89 000 t of copper and 44 000 t of cobalt, in addition to current slag arising from the ongoing Mopani facility in Mufulira.

The stated mission of the President of Zambia is to achieve three-million tonnes of copper output a year from Zambia and the project to recover copper from waste is seen as forming part of a greater waste recovery initiative in Zambia to help achieve that mission.

Jubilee’s Project Roan upgrade includes the implementation of a 50 000 t a month processing module, specifically targeting the previously announced six-year offtake agreement of unprocessed copper run-of-mine material discarded as mined waste.

Roan is part of Jubilee’s southern copper refining strategy, and the predominant supplier of concentrates, produced from perceived waste, which is material previously regarded as too complex or off-specification, to Jubilee’s copper and cobalt Sable refinery, which is adjacent to the company’s Kabwe tailings resource.

Jubilee first established its integrated multi-metals recovery and refining operational footprint in Zambia with the acquisition of the multi-metal Sable Refinery in Kabwe, in August 2019.

This acquisition served as an entry point for Jubilee into Zambia, presenting a well-placed platform from which to pursue the various base metal opportunities presented by the country, and to begin actively engaging with third-party suppliers to develop strategic partnerships to grow its copper production.

There are said to be more than 1.8-billion tons of copper tailings dumps in Zambia and recovery of copper and cobalt from these dumps is creating considerable employment and local community upliftment.

Focused on replicating the PGMs and chrome success seen in South Africa, Jubilee is concentrating on growth in copper operations in Zambia where there is a huge supply of on-surface copper waste material and a junior mining sector with limited processing facilities. This offers the potential for long-term, quality sustained earnings.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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