Operational and Drilling Update



29 December 2010
AIM: JLP
JSE: JBL
Registration number: 4459850
ISIN: GB0031852162
Jubilee Platinum Plc
(“Jubilee” or “the Company”)

Operational and Drilling Update

 

We are pleased to provide an update on significant progress made by the Company

Highlights

·     Engineering Design Study completed for the 1st new ConRoast facility at Middleburg and on track for commissioning in 2011

·     Feasibility Study completed on the Carbonyl process for the refining of ConRoast PGM-iron alloy

 ·     The Feasibility Study confirms viability to produce final metals: demonstrates an indicated 38 month payback period on capital investment

·     Marketing analysis projects refined Nickel, Iron and PGM products could command premium prices

·     In-fill drilling programme on Tjate confirms grade and continuity for both the UG2 and Merensky reef

Leon Coetzer, CEO of Jubilee said “The pleasing results from both our refining study on ConRoast alloy and in-filling drilling on Tjate confirm our confidence in these projects and we are committed to executing the ConRoast furnace facility in 2011”.

New ConRoast Smelting Facility at Middelburg

Jubilee appointed Tenova Pyromet to conclude the engineering design study for the construction of the new ConRoast smelting facility at Jubilee’s Middelburg property by December 2010.  The ConRoast facility is sized to include a 5MW furnace.  The study confirmed the potential recognised by Jubilee during the acquisition of the property, to realise significant capital savings by leveraging of the existing infrastructure at the Middleburg property.   The long lead items for the construction of the ConRoast facility have been identified and are expected to be ordered by Jubilee within the first quarter of 2011.  Jubilee is currently in discussions with suppliers to review the delivery times of the critical equipment to avoid any delays during the construction of the facility.

 

Refining Process Feasibility Study

The feasibility study for the recovery and refining of Nickel, Iron and Cobalt powders from the PGM iron alloy produced by the ConRoast Smelting process is the culmination of three years of technical study and review.  Jubilee commissioned the feasibility study in February 2010 which included continuous refining pilot runs to produce sufficient quantities of the final metal powders for detailed market analyses.

The feasibility study confirmed the strong technical and economic viability of the proposed refining process.  The study indicated a payback period of 38 months on capital investment to construct a refining plant that matches the capacity of the new ConRoast facility.

 

Tjate Update

Tjate’s Phase 1 close spaced continuity in-fill drilling programme, was completed bar one remaining borehole.

 It is pleasing to report that all the boreholes in this Phase intersected the Merensky and UG2 chromitite reefs, thereby adding confidence to the continuity of the Tjate reef structures and permitting possibly a more modest drilling programme for Phase 2 than previously planned.

It is also pleasing to report that the preliminary drilling results summarised, confirm the 4E results, particularlythose of the UG2 reef, of Tjate’s previous mineral resource estimate  (132 480  000 tonnes total indicated and inferred resource with 5.24g/t 4E Merensky and UG2 combined). 

 The overall preliminary average drilling results for this Phase 1 are summarised below:

Reef

Average thickness (m)

4E* g/t

% Nickel

% Copper

Merensky

1.20**

4.22

0.18

0.12

UG2 chromitite

0.67***

8.49

0.06

0.04

*4E         platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold

**           Merensky Best Cuts (Minimum 80 cm Best Mine Cut)

***         UG2 Chromitite band only Cut

 

The average results of the individual boreholes are shown in the two tables below:

Merensky Reef Results – Weighted averages –  Motherhole plus deflections

 (Minimum 0.8 m Best Mine Cut)

Borehole

Depth (m)

Thickness (m)

4E g/t

Cu %

Ni %

DT44

959.17

0.83

4.79

0.16

0.27

DT45

869.50

2.25

4.36

0.09

0.15

DT46

819.19

1.05

3.63

0.13

0.21

DT47

1068.31

1.03

3.85

0.004

0.008

DT48

1131.04

0.98

4.57

0.21

0.29

DT49

1193.51

1.07

4.11

0.15

0.21

 

UG2 Reef Results – Weighted averages – Motherhole plus deflections

(Chromitite band only cut)

Borehole

Depth (m)

Thickness (m)

4E g/t

Cu %

Ni %

DT19*

1392.86

0.65

9.80

0.05

0.08

DT43**

1381.63

0.89

8.77

0.06

0.08

DT44

1135.81

0.69

8.01

0.06

0.07

DT45

1254.47

0.67

9.30

0.03

0.05

DT46

1211.00

0.73

8.28

0.05

0.06

DT47

1418.06

0.47

6.72

0.05

0.07

DT48

1495.00

0.63

8.92

0.04

0.07

DT49

1563.10

0.68

7.64

0.01

0.02

* previous borehole extended to UG2 reef

** assays for Merensky awaited

 

Madagascar

Ambodilafa drilling project

Lanoe Forage, the local drilling company mobilised its drilling equipment and departed from the capital Tananarive on Sunday 19 December for the drill site in the north-western sector of the Ambodilafa concession.  The drilling contractor expects to commence drilling in January 2011.

 

Australia

Leinster Nickel Tailings project

Jubilee requested Bateman Projects SA to review the technical and project work performed to date and update the economic models of the proposed project. This technical and economic review is expected to be concluded within January 2010.

BHP Billiton requested Jubilee and Jubilee has agreed herewith to clarify certain statements made by it, in its previous announcements in relation to this project to the effect that BHP Billiton is a ‘joint venture partner’ or in a ‘joint venture’ with Jubilee (or a subsidiary of Jubilee).  BHP Billiton is counterparty to the Tailings Supply Agreement with Braemore Nickel and as such is neither a partner nor a joint venture partner with Jubilee (or any subsidiary of Jubilee).

  

Andrew Sarosi, Director of Jubilee Platinum, who holds a B.Sc. Metallurgy and M.Sc. Engineering, University of Witwatersrand and is a member of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, is a ‘qualified person’ as defined under the AIM Rules for Companies and a competent person under the reporting standards. The technical parts of this announcement have been prepared under Andrew Sarosi’s supervision and he has approved the release of this announcement.

 

SGS Lakefield Research Africa in Johannesburg carried out the analyses of the borehole core samples. This laboratory is SNAS TO 169 accredited.

 

For further information please contact:

 Colin Bird/Leon Coetzer                   

Jubilee Platinum plc                           

Tel + 27 (0) 11 465 1913 Tel +44 (0) 20 7584 2155 

 

Andrew Sarosi          

Jubilee Platinum plc             

Tel +44 (0) 1752 221937    

      

Matthew Robinson/Rose Herbert

finnCap Ltd

Tel +44 (0) 20 7600 1658

 

Leonard Eiser /Sharon Owens

Sasfin Capital

Tel +27 (0) 11 809 7500

 

Michael Kinirons/Nick Rome

Bishopsgate Communications Ltd

Tel +44 (0) 20 7562 3350

 

Notes to editors

The Tjate Project comprises three contiguous farms, totalling 5,143 hectares in the eastern Bushveld: namely Dsjate, Fernkloof and Quartz Hill. The farms are down dip of Impala Platinum’s operating Marula platinum mine and Anglo Platinum’s developing Twickenham platinum mine. Jubilee is advancing the Project to feasibility study. The Project’s “First mine” resource area hosts a SAMREC Code compliant resource of 132.5 million tonnes (after geological losses) of combined indicated and inferred resource of Merensky and UG2 chromitite reefs containing 25 million oz 6PGE+Au at a combined grade of 5.93 g/t 6PGE*+Au (platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium , osmium and gold). An independent geological consultant commented that if the Merensky Reef and UG2 chromitite reefs were to extend over the three Tjate Platinum properties, which measure some 51 square kilometres, then within this area Tjate could likely target a potential exploration of approximately 52 million oz 3PGE+Au (60 million oz 6PGE+Au) – after geological losses. However, the Company has yet to establish the viability of this target in future studies.