HomeBase MetalsJubilee and Mopani Copper Mines enter MoU for refining facility

Jubilee and Mopani Copper Mines enter MoU for refining facility

Jubilee has announced the execution of a binding MoU Mopani Copper Mines for the implementation of additional copper and cobalt refining capacity through the recapitalisation of existing refining capacity placed under care and maintenance by Mopani.

This additional refining capacity targets to increase Jubilee’s existing copper refining capacity by a further 17 000 tonnes of copper per annum and, together with the Sable Refinery, increases the Group’s total potential refining capacity to in excess of 31 000 tpa.

The Project will establish Jubilee’s Northern Zambian refining footprint for the refining of the copper and cobalt concentrates produced at Jubilee’s Kitwe and the Luanshya copper and cobalt tailings.

Jubilee’s Sable Refinery will be dedicated to the refining of concentrates produced by its Project Roan currently under construction and set to commence commissioning in November 2021 as well as its copper tailings at Kabwe and contracted third party ore suppliers.

The Agreement recognises the significant synergies offered through the Project to the Parties. The Agreement under a collaborative framework brings together Jubilee’s expertise in the processing of tailings and Mopani’s established refining footprint with immediate access to existing refining infrastructure under pinned by an approximate 275 Mt of surface copper and cobalt tailings within the region.

Under the Agreement Jubilee is able to accelerate the implementation of its Zambian copper strategy at significantly reduced capital and project risk with the potential of increasing its production rates to utilise the available refining capacity.

The Agreement holds the benefit to Mopani to gain additional copper units for its smelting operations via a first right of refusal for off-take at market rates of copper sulphide concentrates produced by the Project, while all oxide associated copper will be refined by the Project to copper metal.

This will be achieved by Jubilee refurbishing and expanding existing refining and supporting infrastructure at Mopani which is currently decommissioned and does not form part of Mopani’s future business plan. ZCCM is a partner to the Project through its joint ownership of certain of the copper tailings material.

Leon Coetzer, CEO of Jubilee, comments:

“The Agreement is structured within a collaborative framework which recognises each party’s contribution to the ultimate success of the project and establishes a mutually beneficial partnership to fast track the implementation of our copper and cobalt tailings projects.

“The Agreement endorses the mutual respect between Mopani and Jubilee and the joint value offered by Jubilee refurbishing and expanding Mopani’s decommissioned copper and cobalt processing facilities. I am delighted by the Agreement reached which sets into motion the accelerated implementation of our Kitwe and Luanshya copper and cobalt tailings projects to reach even sooner our target of 25 000 tonnes of copper per annum.

“The Agreement will see Jubilee refurbish and expand some of Mopani’s processing facilities currently not in use and removes the need to build a new processing facility to process the nearby tailings deposits we secured last year. This Agreement with Mopani directly improves both our expected project timelines and required project capital while reducing overall project risk through the access offered to existing refining infrastructure.

“Our engineers are already on-site working alongside the Mopani team to upgrade the detail Project designs as we accelerate the implementation.

“I look forward to working with the Mopani team as we deliver this Project and continue to further explore opportunities for collaboration.

“Our Project Roan implementation team has performed exceptionally well to overcome the logistics challenges posed by shifting COVID restrictions and have now secured the release of all imported equipment for the completion of the project which is now firmly set to commence commissioning in November of this year.”