Jubilee notes potential to establish regional refining hub in Zambia

17th September 2019 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Dual-listed Jubilee Metals Group says there continues to be interest from small to medium-sized mining operators that are keen to have their copper material refined at Jubilee’s Sable Refinery, in Zambia.

This aligns well with the AltX- and Aim-listed company’s plans of establishing the Sable Refinery as a preferred regional refining hub.

Jubilee on Tuesday provided an update on its Kabwe multi-metal processing project in Zambia.

Kabwe, combined with the Sable Refinery, has access to a current resource comprising an estimated 6.4-million tonnes of surface waste assets containing 356 843 t of zinc, 351 386 t of lead and 1.26% equivalent vanadium pentoxide.

The existing copper leaching circuit has been brought on line to process historical copper tailings, as well as third-party sourced run-of-mine material, targeting the first plated copper cathode metal production early in the fourth quarter.

The ramp-up of the copper circuit remains on track to produce 250 t a month of plated copper cathode, starting in the first quarter of 2020. Production will increase to reach 400 t a month from second quarter of 2020, providing for early project cash flows during the construction of the zinc and vanadium refining circuits.

The zinc and vanadium circuit is primarily constructed for the processing of the Kabwe tailings material, targeting the production of 8 000 t/y of zinc and 1 500 t/y of vanadium pentoxide.

Completion of the zinc circuit remains on track for the second quarter of 2020, with the vanadium circuit to be completed during the third quarter of 2020.

Construction of the lead circuit will follow after the zinc and vanadium circuits have reached stable output.

Jubilee said it was fully funded to execute Kabwe, which demonstrated its commitment to and capability for the responsible reprocessing of mine waste to reduce and contain the environmental impacts of historical mine waste.

“We have hit the ground running since acquiring the Sable Refinery and the commencement of operations is a major step towards the implementation of the project,” said Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer.

He noted that Kabwe was expected to deliver strong operational margins on the back of a multi-metal recovery strategy delivered at a single refinery.

“Zambia has a rich history of copper mining and a huge amount of potential in the mining waste processing space.

The acquisition of Kabwe acts as both an entry point for Jubilee into the country, and a potentially highly profitable operation on which to base further acquisitions as we look to establish further centres of processing excellence within Zambia, which target processing of a variety of surface assets, all the while fulfilling local environmental obligations.”

In addition to its operations in Zambia, the company also operates chrome and platinum-group metals processing projects in South Africa.