Home » Jubilee Metals Partners with UAE Firm to Tap Zambia’s Copper Wealth

Jubilee Metals Partners with UAE Firm to Tap Zambia’s Copper Wealth

Innovative Copper Recovery Project Launches in Zambia by Jubilee Metals and Middle Eastern Conglomerate

by Adenike Adeodun

Johannesburg-listed Jubilee Metals, in a strategic partnership with International Resources Holding (IRH) from the United Arab Emirates, recently secured one of Zambia’s largest copper waste rock assets. This venture will recover copper from an estimated 350 million tonnes of discarded material, which initial surface sampling indicates contains higher-than-expected copper grades.

IRH will provide the necessary capital through equity and shareholder loans, and Jubilee Metals will design, implement, and operate the mining and processing solution. As an affiliate of the significant Abu Dhabi International Holding Company conglomerate, IRH’s investment aligns with its strategy to invest in critical metals and develop a new entity covering the entire metals and mining supply chain.

Jubilee Metals, also quoted on London’s AIM, has tasked its technical services team with resource definition and process technical review. The team is working to finalize project implementation details within the next 60 days. Jubilee’s innovative modular copper units aim to produce over 20,000 tonnes per year of copper from this historical waste rock dump at costs below $4,000 per tonne.

The overall project, including mining equipment and infrastructure, will likely cost around $50 million. Jubilee plans to start construction in the first quarter of the following year, with commissioning set for 12 months later.

Jubilee and IRH have agreed on a binding funding term sheet to create a special purpose vehicle that will fund both the acquisition of the copper waste rock asset and the implementation of the processing solution. This transaction significantly expands Jubilee’s operations in Zambia and accelerates the implementation of its modular copper processing units in the country.

Leon Coetzer, CEO of Jubilee, emphasized the strategic importance of this partnership, which combines Jubilee’s technical expertise with IRH’s strategic focus and financial backing. This collaboration marks a crucial step in Zambia’s copper sector, particularly following IRH’s selection as the preferred strategic equity partner for Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines.

According to a report by Mining Weekly, Jubilee’s copper processing modules play a critical role in rehabilitating environmentally unfriendly dumps that have accumulated from decades of copper mining in Zambia. This new waste rock project promises to create employment opportunities and boost the local economy.

Jubilee’s Mopani Mufulira slag project aims to process about 13 million tonnes of slag, estimated to contain significant amounts of copper and cobalt. This project supports the Zambian President’s goal of increasing copper output to three million tonnes per year, with waste recovery as a key component.

Project Roan, another Jubilee initiative, involves implementing a 50,000-tonne-per-month processing module, targeting unprocessed copper run-of-mine material. This project is a key part of Jubilee’s southern copper refining strategy and supplies concentrate to its Sable refinery.

Since acquiring the Sable Refinery in Kabwe in August 2019, Jubilee has built a strong presence in Zambia. This acquisition was a strategic entry point for Jubilee into the Zambian market, providing a platform to explore various base metal opportunities and develop strategic partnerships to grow its copper production.

With over 1.8 billion tonnes of copper tailings dumped in Zambia, there is a significant opportunity for copper and cobalt recovery, which can drive employment and community development. Jubilee is focusing on growth in copper operations in Zambia, where there is an abundance of on-surface copper waste and a junior mining sector with limited processing facilities, mirroring its success in South Africa’s PGMs and chrome sectors for long-term, sustainable earnings.

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