Jubilee: new cobalt circuit commences commissioning

Jubilee’s copper strategy in Zambia includes, as its first phase, the implementation of its Southern Refining Strategy which targets to produce up to 12 000 tonnes of copper units per annum including a cobalt by-product from certain cobalt containing feed streams.

The strategy integrates the upgraded Sable Refinery with Project Roan, a new copper concentrator processing both Run-Of-Mine copper ore as well as tailings to produce copper concentrates for refining at Sable (10 000 tonnes per annum), which complements the existing supply of third-party feed to Sable refinery (2 000 tonnes per annum). The integrated Southern Refining Strategy’s capital allocation is c. £19 million (ZAR 378 million).

Jubilee’s project execution team broke ground for the construction of the new copper concentrator,

Project Roan, in June 2021 and despite the challenges caused by the COVID 19 pandemic and its effect on supply chains the team was able to commence testing of certain equipment within seven months and completed all construction activity within 11 months which remains a remarkable achievement.

Project Roan has reached a production throughput level pf 65% of design capacity and is expected to complete the ramp-up of the operation, which targets 830 tonnes of copper per month, during July


In addition to the copper refining capacity at Sable, Jubilee approved the implementation of a cobalt refining circuit at Sable able to produce up to 1 200 tonnes of cobalt per annum depending on the feed grade to the circuit. The new cobalt circuit commenced commissioning during June 2022 with the first test product produced as part of the commission of the circuit targeting to commence commercial production during August 2022.

Crucially, and in line with Jubilee’s goals to promote sustained, inclusive economic growth, the Southern Refining Strategy has resulted in significant job creation, with total jobs filled in Zambia reaching over 700 during the last 12 months. Jubilee has prioritised sourcing of skills and services from its local communities and has in many instances partnered with local firms to assist in their growth and development to offer a sustained service to its projects.

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