Dual-listed Jubilee Metals has, in line with its stated strategy to expand operations in Zambia, signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with a private Zambian company to secure the rights to process two-million tonnes of copper run-of-mine (RoM) material containing in excess of 2% copper.
Under the JV agreement, there is further potential to increase the supply of copper ore to about four-million tonnes.
The project will target the near-term production of copper concentrate through a dedicated newly constructed copper concentrating facility for which Jubilee has completed the design.
The processing facility will be built on a brownfield site adjacent to the tailings and will be commissioned in two phases, with the first copper concentrate and revenues expected within four months.
The total project capital is estimated at $15-million, to be invested over a period of 12 months, which Jubilee plans to fund using its cash reserves and access to debt funding, leveraging off its existing balance sheet.
The additional copper units supplied to Jubilee's Sable refinery hold the potential to significantly enhance the earnings margin, targeting a unit cost of about $4 000/t of copper cathode, offering a potential payback of the project capital within one year.
The processing facility is strategically located to access the large potential of third-party copper ore in the area.
"This JV agreement offers tremendous earnings potential for Jubilee. The project has been a key target for Jubilee to drive the ramp-up in our copper production while we are implementing our previously announced project Elephant,” comments Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer.
He indicates that the combination of easily accessible large surface resources, together with a fully operational copper refinery, offers the company the potential to replicate, at a larger scale, the success it is achieving with its platinum group metals and chrome operations in South Africa.