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Jubilee Metals in SA and Zambia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

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Column-Flotation-Cells at Jubilee Metal’s Inyoni PGM plant in South Africa. Image credit: Jubilee Metals from https://jubileemetalsgroup.com/operations/

Jubilee Metals in SA and Zambia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

Jubilee Metals’ investment and expansion programmes in South Africa and Zambia over the last year, have laid the perfect foundation for continued and sustained growth across its PGM, chrome, copper, and cobalt operations. Jubilee Metals is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week.

During the last six months Jubilee successfully completed its R1.2-billion investment programme to diversify and expand the company’s PGM, copper and cobalt operational footprint

The company’s Inyoni processing operations are located on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex close to the town of Brits in the North-West Province of South Africa.

Construction and commissioning of the new 45% expanded Inyoni operations were completed in March 2022 with an annualised nameplate production capacity of 44 000 PGM ounces and a 1.2 million tonnes combined chrome concentrate capacity (up 85%).

Jubilee achieved increased production of 21 140 PGM ounces for the six-month period ending June 2022 (up 5% from the previous six-month period) despite planned operational interruptions to complete the new Inyoni processing facility.

More than 95% of PGM ounces was produced at the new Inyoni operations during the six-month period (compared to 75% in FY2021). This brings enhanced economics to Jubilee and has mitigated the impact of softer PGM prices. Early results from the new Inyoni operations have outperformed expectations with a 34% reduction in PGM unit cost compared with the six-month period ending December 2021, as the facility benefits from significantly increased operational footprint and increased contribution from chrome production.

In Zambia, Jubilee’s copper production increased 14% to 1 388 tonnes, over the previous six-month period. The Southern Copper Refining Strategy for 12 000 tonnes per annum of copper was brought onstream with the commissioning of the new Roan copper concentrator and ramp-up of operations reached 80% of design capacity in August 2022.

Good results despite supply chain disruptions

According to Leon Coetzer, CEO of Jubilee, these results were achieved despite several challenges, including intense and prolonged supply chain disruptions.

“The rationale for the investment to expand our Inyoni operations is best illustrated by the simultaneous increase in not only the overall PGM production but also the sharp increase in earnings generated per PGM ounce despite softer metal prices.

“The past six months and especially the last quarter has shown a sharp increase in PGM production and lower costs as Inyoni achieved its full design capacity with the majority of the PGM production stemming from this quarter. This performance underpins our target of reaching 44 000 PGM ounces per annum from our own facilities as more of our production benefits from our efficiencies.

“Equally in copper following a delayed start due to equipment deliveries, our Project Roan reached 80% of design capacity during the first week of August. This puts us on track to achieve our targeted 3 700 tonnes of copper over the current six-month period ending December 2022. The increased production rates are expected to further reduce our unit cost. With the delivery of Project Roan, we are on track to reach 10 000 tonnes of copper for the full twelve-month period ending June 2023, while we work to unlock the cobalt potential,” says Coetzer.

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