Jubilee’s operational growth continuous to exceed expectations despite the challenges of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the significant expansion programme undertaken at both its PGM and chrome as well as copper business units.
Financially, the Company saw continued growth in H1 2021 delivering earnings of GBP 40.1 million. This, combined with its record performance in the previous six months, has resulted in a 176% year- on-year increase in unaudited operational earnings to GBP 69.6 million for FY 2021. This strong earnings growth came on the back of a 133% year-on-year increase in unaudited revenue for FY 2021 to GBP 127.6 million. The revenue and earnings growth achieved was during a period of planned substantial infrastructure investment and integration across our projects, which while resulting in some operational downtime, has set a tremendous platform for future growth.
Operationally, the Company has achieved its stated target of 50 000 PGM ounces for FY 2021 at 50 162 ounces (increase of 23% compared with 40 743 ounces for FY 2020); again, achieved during a period which included the construction and commissioning of two new Chrome Beneficiation facilities and the commencement of the construction of the expanded Inyoni PGM operations which is expected to be completed during this current quarter.
During the period under review, the Company expanded its operational footprint in the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld complex in South Africa – a strategic development which demonstrates Jubilee’s ability to continue to grow its business by re-investing its earnings into high growth projects.
Chrome operations achieved 751 223 chrome concentrate tonnes for FY 2021 (377 883 tonnes during FY 2020) on the back of increased operational capacities. This is set to increase further with the commissioning of the new Chrome Beneficiation circuit which was completed during Q2 2021.
In Zambia, early earnings from copper production were achieved. Copper production increased to 1 387 tonnes of copper for FY2021 as part of securing operational readiness to accept first copper concentrate production from Project Roan.
Project Roan’s integrated copper concentrator is set for commissioning by January 2022 which will result in the first significant increase in copper production by the Sable Refinery targeting 10 000 tonnes of copper units annually. The fully operational Sable Refinery achieved positive earnings as part of its operational readiness activities with attributable operational earnings of GBP 3.7 million for FY 2021 compared to GBP 1.2 million for FY 2020.
Leon Coetzer, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The Jubilee team has yet again delivered another exceptional performance, where we have achieved growth in each of our core business units; PGMs and Chrome and also generating maiden earnings from our new Zambian Copper portfolio.
“As we have previously reported, we have undertaken an intensive construction and commissioning phase, in particular at our PGM and Chrome operations in South Africa, where a number of projects have been initiated.
We have seen the commissioning of two new Chrome Beneficiation facilities, as well as commencing with the construction of the expanded PGM Inyoni operations. While all of this work understandably has put significant pressure on day-to-day operations, I am thrilled to still be reporting further production and earnings progress. Crucially, the investment, time and effort spent in building and integrating these facilities has set a platform for tremendous potential growth opportunities.
“We have seen further growth in South Africa during the period under review, with a number of new long term PGM supply agreements, each of significant strategic value given their locations in the Eastern Limb of the mineral rich Bushveld complex. As well as demonstrating our ability to win and form partnerships with key chrome mining clients, these new supply agreements provide us with the opportunity to replicate the success of our Inyoni operation in the Western Limb region – which is of significant value to us in supplying a continued sustained chrome and PGM feed.
“Achieving our first delivery, on time, of partially upgraded copper concentrate from Project Roan to the fully operational Sable Refinery was the first major step in our commitment to achieve our targeted production of 25 000 tonnes per annum of copper within the next four years. Commissioning of the integrated copper concentrator is scheduled to commence in Q1 2022, while our second copper project, located in the Luanshya area, has completed the development programme and is concluding the detail design phase to commence shortly with the implementation programme. I look forward to keeping shareholders updated on further progress in Zambia with what holds the potential to contribute to generating long term, quality earnings.