Jubilee expects to meet or exceed full-year PGMs, chrome guidance

24th April 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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Metals processing company Jubilee Metals is expected to meet and possibly exceed its full-year guidance for both platinum group metals (PGMs) and chrome following strong production results at its South African and Zambian operations for the third quarter ended March 31.

“Our South African operations continue to deliver a strong performance. This places our South African operations on track to meet and potentially exceed the full-year guidance.  

“Our chrome operations once again exceeded its operational targets . . . and are therefore expected to exceed our full-year guidance . . . This confirms the strength of the South African operations’ integrated chrome and PGMs business model,” Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer said on April 24. 

Jubilee expects its full-year PGMs production guidance to remain unchanged at 38 000 oz, with the potential of upwards revision depending on South Africa's power supply outlook.

Chrome operations are expected to exceed guidance of 1.2-million tonnes of chrome concentrate, supported by stronger chrome prices during the third quarter.  

Copper guidance remains unchanged at 3 000 t for the full year. 

Jubilee sold 11 437 oz of PGMs in the March quarter, with PGM operations performing on target, contributing 9 019 oz of PGMs from its own operations and 2 418 oz through the sale of stock under a joint venture (JV) partnership agreement.  

The company's chrome production of 310 721 t remains on track to reach full-year guidance of 1.2-million tonnes. The contribution from chrome by-product credits to the PGM operations more than doubled on the back of stronger chrome production, with PGM costs – after chrome by-product credits – dropping to $383/oz. 

The company also reported upwards momentum in platinum and palladium prices during the quarter under review, with chrome and copper prices remaining resilient.  

The Southern Copper Refining project ramp-up, in Zambia, resumed at the end of February, with a stable supply of water and power fully restored. Jubilee sold 494 t of copper, with a further 202 t of equivalent copper held in copper concentrate and metal as stock at the end of the period. 

Jubilee highlighted that the flexibility of the Sable Refinery offers the ability to pivot between copper and cobalt production to rapidly respond to changing market fundamentals.  

This flexibility was used to improve copper-equivalent production units of copper, which was prioritised owing to cobalt prices, contributing a 76% decrease in cobalt hydroxide. About 70 t of equivalent cobalt units are being held in stock.

The company also reported progress made with discussions to secure a further PGMs processing footprint in the eastern limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, targeting an additional 25 000 oz/y of PGMs, and expected to begin construction in the fourth quarter of the current financial year.  

The ramp-up of copper operations at the Roan Concentrator, in Zambia, is progressing well, Jubilee said, with full output expected in May.  

Moreover, the final design reviews for the Northern Refining Strategy are under way to confirm the implementation schedule and required investment. 

“The leadership of our Zambian operations team has been strengthened to ensure the team is better structured to deliver on the expected performance targets, with results already seen,” Coetzer said. 

The company reported a lost time injury frequency rate for the quarter of 1 in South Africa and 2.3 in Zambia. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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