Jubilee Metals has announced plans to increase its copper production in Zambia to 25,000 tonnes (t) annually.

The expansion strategy involves enhancing the company’s copper resource base and processing capabilities. The move is expected to significantly bolster Jubilee’s position in the region’s copper industry.

At the Roan Concentrator, Jubilee completed a new 50,000t per month front-end modular unit, designed by the Jubilee Technical Services team in South Africa.

The unit is currently being prepared for shipment to Zambia and, once operational, will enable Roan to process more than 1,000t per month of copper contained in concentrates.

Additionally, optimisation efforts at Roan have improved the copper sulphide concentrate’s copper content from 20% to more than 25%, increasing revenue potential and ensuring continued production during the module’s installation.

The company’s Sable Refinery is also undergoing an expansion of its copper sulphide concentrate circuit, complementing the existing copper cathode production from oxide ore.

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Engineering designs are advancing, with construction set to begin in the second quarter of the calendar year 2024, aiming to increase capacity to 16,000t per annum of copper in cathode and concentrates.

Jubilee has also made progress with the Munkoyo project, having signed a copper ore offtake agreement with a nearby mining company.

Trials at Sable Refinery with 80,000t of run-of-mine material from Munkoyo have indicated copper ore grades of 1.5–3%. Initial exploration and aerial surveying suggest the potential for a new copper resource along a 1km strike.

In a strategic move last November, Jubilee secured one of Zambia’s largest copper waste rock assets and entered into a partnership with International Resources Holding.

The asset has been independently verified to contain a minimum of 260 million tonnes of historical waste rock, with Jubilee’s sampling indicating copper grades above 1.5%.

Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer said: “At Munkoyo, early test work of approximately 80,000t has revealed excellent copper grades of 1.5–3% for what was believed to be an uneconomic source of copper by previous owners. The discovery of this new copper anomaly has the potential to become a long-term source of supply for our Sable Refinery in the region. Munkoyo is a great example of Jubilee’s ability to convert abandoned surface projects into viable opportunities through processing excellence.

“At Roan, I am pleased to announce we have completed the manufacturing of the new modular front-end unit in South Africa, and we look forward to receiving delivery of the module in Zambia.

“Jubilee is well on track of achieving its initial target of 25,000t of copper per annum from the implementation of these projects.”

In December 2023, Jubilee garnered around £13m ($16.6m) to support the recent project in Zambia, which involves copper extraction from a waste rock dump.