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.
“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.