Jubilee Metals Group PLC (LON:JLP) said it has secured the rights to around 150mln tonnes of copper containing tailings to be refined at its Sable refinery in Zambia.
The metals processing firm said the magnitude of the resource offered a “long term sustainable earnings profile” for its Zambian business, adding that the project holds the potential to produce copper concentrates in excess of the Sable refinery’s capacity of 14,000 tonnes per annum of copper cathode.
Jubilee said it is aiming to increase the capacity of the refinery to over 25,000 tonnes of copper per year over time.
The company noted that the new project, which was acquired by entering a joint venture with the rights holder Star Tanganika Limited, has the potential to “more than double” its current earnings profile and was the first of what it hopes will be a series of targeted copper tailings resources.
Jubilee said Sable was operationally ready to increase its capacity alongside the expected production build up without incurring significant new capital, adding that its platinum group metals (PGM) and chrome operations had returned to full capacity after having scaled down in April and May in line with South African lockdown regulations.
"This agreement with Tanganika is in line with our strategy to take a leading role in the processing of surface tailings in Zambia by applying our proven technical know-how and IP. Zambia contains vast quantities of copper tailings requiring Jubilee's skills to unlock these opportunities and having worked alongside leading institutions to review these, Jubilee is now perfectly poised to play a commanding role in this area”, Jubilee chief executive Leon Coetzer said in a statement.
"We plan to construct a copper concentrator at the tailings resource which can supply both concentrate to the Sable Refinery while selling excess concentrate into the market. We are well positioned to take advantage of the expected increasing need for copper as the world's demand for cleaner energy such as electric vehicle rapidly expands”, he added.