Copper and Cobalt

The acquisition served as an entry point for Jubilee into Zambia presenting a very well-placed platform from which to pursue the various base metal opportunities presented by the country, and to begin actively engaging with third party suppliers to develop strategic partnerships as part of the expansion of the Integrated Kabwe Operations.

Copper Strategy

Focussed on replicating the PGM and chrome success seen in South Africa, Jubilee is focussing on growth in copper operations in Zambia where there is a huge supply of on-surface copper waste material, with the view to taking a leading role in the processing of surface tailings by applying technical know-how and IP.  A “game-changing” target of reaching 25,000 tonnes of copper units per annum in four years has been set and following some key transactions in 2020, some 300 million tonnes of copper and cobalt tailings have been secured to be upgraded and refined at both the Sable Refinery and the targeted Northern Refinery through its agreement with Mopani Copper Mines.  Offering the potential for long term quality sustained earnings. 

What is copper used for?

Copper is a strategic and complementary, highly ductile semi-precious metal with high thermal and electrical conductivity and excellent corrosion resistance, finding extensive use in construction and appliances. By far the most common application is in moving electrons, be it in electricity transmission and distribution or home and appliance wiring. Demand for copper has grown with the market moving from surplus to deficit, putting pressure on stocks and having the effect of increasing prices with analysts estimating a continuous rise in prices. This pressure is expected to increase with a greener future and a low carbon global commitment.


Cobalt Strategy

As a part of Jubilee’s Southern Refining operations, the Sable Refinery achieved production of export grade cobalt product from waste in November 2022 with targeted production of 1200 tonnes of contained cobalt metal annual capacity, which equates to 5280 tonnes of final product. Cobalt production holds the potential to significantly contribute to overall earnings and positions Sable as one of the few cobalt refineries in Zambia able to process and refine cobalt containing materials at commercial scale. The implementation of the Company’s refined cobalt strategy, following a joint review by the Zambian authorities and the Jubilee project team,  will result in the potential to accelerate the roll-out of the Northern copper and cobalt strategy. The Sable Refinery will initially maximise cobalt production in the short-term to facilitate the targeted expansion of the Roan copper operations, targeting output of 450 tonnes per month of cobalt hydroxide (125 tonnes of contained cobalt) from recycled waste. The Company is currently considering to upscale the production of cobalt through potential acquisition of refining infrastructures to expand its cobalt footprint. The additional cobalt revenue offers Jubilee further opportunities to secure metal backed funding in support of the implementation of the Northern Refining Strategy.

What is cobalt used for?

Cobalt is a strategic metal and importantly is used in batteries needed for electric  vehicles. With the global rhetoric focused on the transition to net zero emissions, this has positive implications for the market fundamentals of cobalt and its pricing. Along with its use in electric vehicle batteries, cobalt also finds its use in electroplating, cancer treatments and can be used as a magnet. When alloyed with aluminium and nickel, it has powerful properties.

Our Projects

  • Sable Refinery
  • Project Roan
  • Project Lechwe
  • Project Elephant

Sable Refinery

  • The Sable Refinery was acquired from Glencore in 2019
  • Bought into full operation during H2 2019
  • Capacity to produce 14,000 tonnes per annum copper cathode
  • With access to historical copper tailings and third party run-of-mine material, early earnings from copper and cobalt production have been achieved
  • Copper production at Sable Refinery reached 2 604 tonnes for the full end of year to end-June 2022, an 88% increase on FY2021
  • 178 412 tonnes were processed from third-party material during the year at an average grade of 1.87% containing copper
  • Jubilee has set a target to expand its access to refining capacity, to achieve a targeted 25 000 tonnes of copper units per annum

Project Roan

  • Project Roan is a new copper concentrator processing both ROM copper ore and tailings to produce copper concentrates for refining at Sable (10,000 tonnes per annum)
  • Secured rights to process 2 million tonnes of copper run-of-mine material with potential to increase to 4 million tonnes with an additional 2.5 million tonnes available 
  • To be completed in 3 phases, Phase 1 is complete allowing early production of intermediate copper concentrate 
  • Phase 2 is complete with  commissioning commenced to produce a higher-grade intermediate copper concentrate to further increase the production of copper units 
  • Phase 3 of the Project Roan was completed towards the end of the 2022 Financial Year.
  • It is capable of processing both ROM copper ore as well as tailings, to produce copper concentrates at a rate of approximately 10 000 tonnes of contained copper per annum, complementing the existing supply of third-party feed to Sable Refinery (2 000 tonnes of copper per annum
  • Jubilee has targeted the production of 3 000 tones of copper for the six-month period ending December 2022 in-line with the ramp-up to full production of Project Roan

Project Lechwe

  • Design work for Jubilee’s second processing facility, Project Lechwe, was completed in the FY2022, with pilot runs confirming the design work
  • The rights to 150 million tonnes of copper containing surface tailings in the region have been secured
  • Project Lechwe targets to reach a poduction level of 7 500 copper units per annum at a dedicated newly constructed copper concentrator for further refining at the targeted Northern Refinery at Kitwe, by the second quarter of the calendar year 2023

Project Elephant

  • Secured rights to 114 million tonnes of tailings containing an estimated 336, 610 tonnes of copper 
  • The project is within a 50km radius of Project Lechwe and adjacent to the targeted Northern Refinery at Kitwe 
  • Project targets the production of 10,200 tonnes of copper units per annum at a dedicated brownfields expansion of an existing copper concentrator for further refining at the targeted Northern Refinery at Kitwe 
  • The tailings resource have been previously drilled and sampled to confirm both content and size containing on average 0.05% cobalt in addition to the copper content offering the potential to incorporate a cobalt refining circuit as part of the Northern Refinery  

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