Aim- and AltX-listed Jubilee Metals’ operational earnings for the second half of last year increased by a record 123% to £28.4-million, compared with the first half of the year.
In rand terms, it was a 126% increase to R603-million between the two six-month periods.
This while the company’s attributable platinum group metals (PGMs) and chrome revenue for the second half of the year increased by 64% to £48.2-million, or to R1-billion, compared with the first half of the year.
Jubilee’s Sable Refinery operation, in Zambia, achieved early attributable operational earnings of £1.8-million, or R39-million, from its copper and cobalt production, as part of securing operational readiness to accept first production from Project Roan.
Jubilee on August 6 last year secured the rights to about two-million tonnes of copper run-of-mine (RoM) material, as well as a targeted 2.5-million tonnes of copper-containing tailings.
Jubilee will build, own and operate the processing facility, while its 50% joint venture partner will deliver the RoM and tailings at no cost to Project Roan. The partner will produce the copper concentrates, which will be sold on an arms-length basis, with Jubilee’s Sable Refinery holding the first right to such concentrate.
The company also secured about 288-million tonnes of copper tailings in December.
Project Roan is targeting the production of 10 000 t/y of equivalent copper units for further refining, supporting Jubilee’s rapid copper expansion strategy to increase capacity to more than 25 000 t/y of copper.
Jubilee has started with the construction of Project Roan’s copper concentrator, which should come on line before the end of the quarter.
During the second half of the year, Jubilee successfully completed the addition of its new 35 000 t a month Windsor 8 chrome operation, where production started in October last year. The company also started building a new 80 000 t a month chrome operation adjacent to its Inyoni PGM operation.
Jubilee also approved the further expansion of its Inyoni PGM operation which will start in February and is targeted for completion in April.
CEO Leon Coetzer comments that the past six months have seen both Jubilee’s PGM and chrome operations maturing, as well as its copper strategy gaining significant momentum with the commencement of the construction of the first of a targeted three copper concentrators in Zambia in line with the company’s goal to take a leading role in the processing of surface tailings in the country.
“The expected significant ramp-up of our copper production in Zambia has the clear potential to continue to grow Jubilee’s earnings on the back of the commissioning of both of our copper and cobalt refining circuits and the expected ramp-up of our copper production, particularly with the recent rebound, and market expectations, of strong copper prices.”
Coetzer adds that the company remains focused on its target to achieve production of 25 000 t/y of copper within the next four years after securing nearly 300-million tonnes of copper and cobalt tailings.
“Our Project Roan is the first of three copper concentrators that we target to implement to achieve this goal. Jubilee is perfectly poised to play a commanding role in the processing of copper as we also look to further implement our strategy more widely.”