New integrated PGMs/chrome plant provides growth platform for Jubilee

A photo of Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer

Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer

Photo by Creamer Media

8th February 2022

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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Aim-listed metal processing company Jubilee Metals is poised for growth following the successful recommissioning of its significantly upgraded and fully integrated new Inyoni platinum group metals (PGMs) processing facility, in Gauteng.

“The new integrated facility sets a strong foundation for sustained future growth and is the culmination of Jubilee’s extensive investment into achieving class-leading efficiencies,” the company said in a statement to shareholders on February 8.

The project entailed a complete rebuild of an old chrome plant, which Jubilee acquired in 2019. The plant was previously owned and operated by chrome producer Hernic Ferrochrome.

The R377-million investment programme included the construction of a new 80 000 t/m chrome processing facility – named the OBB Chrome Plant – which has been integrated with the new upgraded Inyoni PGMs circuit.

The new integrated facility can produce up to 44 000 oz/y of PGMs, compared with the previous output of 30 000 oz/y PGMs, as well as 615 000 t/y of additional chrome concentrate. Among the PGMs produced are platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium and gold.

The new processing facility is uniquely able to process both a variety of chrome- and PGM-containing mined ores, as well as historical tailings. Previously the plant was limited to processing only a single feed source.

“Despite this challenging undertaking that lays our foundation for future performance, the team delivered [and] displayed exceptional commitment and ingenuity by implementing on-time and in-budget the complex integration of the newly constructed OBB Chrome Plant, with a fully upgraded and expanded Inyoni PGMs circuit,” Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer said, noting that the full project was delivered without a single lost-time injury.

Jubilee reported that monthly production levels had risen by 66% in January compared with those recorded in the second half of last year. The higher production levels reflected the new Inyoni facility reaching its full design capacities, the company said.

During the second half of last year, Jubilee further increased its access to both mined chrome and PGMs material, as well as historical tailings, which further supported the targeted processing capacity expansion into the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex.

The company said this expansion would not only offer an offset to the current transport costs incurred for moving this material but would also offer significant growth opportunities in the region.

For the second half of last year, Jubilee reported an increase in chrome concentrate production of 41% to 609 734 t compared with the previous period, illustrating the early contribution from the new OBB Chrome Plant, which was brought online at the end of the second quarter last year and ramped up during the third quarter before being integrated with the Inyoni plant in November.

The new chrome beneficiation facility follows the completion of the Windsor 8 chrome plant in October 2020. The two plants combined raised Jubilee’s chrome feed capacity to 250 000 t a month of both chrome run-of-mine ore and historical tailings.

Moreover, the increased chrome processing capacity directly contributes to increased PGMs feed supply as a tailings stream produced from the chrome processing circuit.

Jubliee told shareholders that the new integrated plant sets the example of the type of facility that it plans to develop as it expands its chrome and PGMs operational footprint in the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex.

“This is a strategic development, demonstrating Jubilee’s ability to continue to grow its business by reinvesting its earnings into high growth projects,” the company said.

Jubilee’s current PGMs operational footprint has historically been largely focused on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex. The eastern limb, however, is now a key focus for Jubilee to expand its PGMs reach and operational capacity following the completion of the Inyoni facility.

“The additional PGM supply agreements from the eastern limb entered into gives Jubilee access to this area offering a platform to establish a dedicated integrated chrome and PGMs facility and to pursue further growth opportunities,” the company revealed.


Meanwhile, Coetzer said Jubliee’s southern copper refining strategy in Zambia had reached a significant milestone with the commencement of commissioning activities at the newly built copper concentrator – Project Roan – situated in Ndola.

The commissioning of the Project Roan copper concentrator neared completion during the second half of last year. The company reported that the project remained on schedule to reach full production levels soon, targeting a production rate of 10 000 t/y of copper concentrate.

Project Roan will deliver copper concentrate to Jubilee’s Sable Refinery in Zambia and to third-party suppliers.

“The early material produced under Project Roan as part of our Phase 1 implementation is already delivering results, with a 70% step-up in copper production at our Sable Refinery,” Coetzer said.

In the second half of last year, the completion of the design work for Jubilee’s second copper processing facility, Project Lechwe further progressed with final pilot runs under way to confirm the design work.

In terms of the project, Jubilee said it had secured the rights to about 150-million tonnes of copper-containing surface tailings.

Project Lechwe aims to reach production of 7 500 copper units a year in addition to Project Roan by the second quarter of 2023.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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