Jubilee Metals Group PLC, a leader in metals processing with operations in Africa (AIM: JLP/Altx: JBL), is pleased to announce its unaudited operational results for the six months to 31 December 2021 (“H2 CY2021”).
PGM Operations – South Africa
· Jubilee successfully recommissioned on-time and in-budget the significantly upgraded and fully integrated new Inyoni PGM1 processing facility in South Africa in November 2021
· The £ 17.5 million (ZAR 377 million) 2 investment program enables the new integrated facility to produce up to 44 000 PGM ounces (previously 30 000 PGM ounces) and 615 000 tonnes of additional chrome concentrate per annum (complete rebuild of old Hernic chrome plant)
· The investment in Inyoni has materially increased the Group’s production capacity of PGM ounces and, importantly, increases the proportion of the ounces produced that are fully attributable to Jubilee along with the associated earnings compared with the significant dilution of earnings caused by the Windsor PGM JV where up to 40% of earnings was attributable to the JV partner
· The new Inyoni processing facility is a state-of-the-art plant that is uniquely able to process both a wide variety of chrome and PGM containing mined ores as well as historical tailings. Previously the plant was limited to processing only a single feed source
· The investment program included the construction of a new 80 000 tonnes per month Chrome processing facility (“OBB Chrome Plant”) integrated with the new upgraded Inyoni PGM circuit, delivering a world class fully integrated chrome and PGM processing facility able to process a wide variety of chrome and PGM containing mined ores as well as historical tailings
· The new integrated facility sets a strong foundation for sustained future growth and is the culmination of Jubilee’s extensive investment into achieving class leading efficiencies
· Jubilee was able to maintain contractual obligations during the re-build of the program with 20 316 PGM ounces sold during H2 CY2021 despite scheduled production downtime during expansion at Inyoni
· Unit cost and revenues are skewed by a one-off release of PGM stock as a lower grade PGM material
· January 2022 saw monthly production levels up 66% compared with H2 CY2021. The higher production levels reflect the new Inyoni facility reaching full design capacities
· During the period, Jubilee further increased its access to both mined chrome and PGM material, as well as historical tailings, which further supports Jubilee’s targeted processing capacity expansion into the Eastern Limb. This expansion would not only offer an offset to the current transport cost incurred by this material but also offers significant growth opportunities in this PGM and chrome-rich region of South Africa
· Overall, the investment in capital expenditure over this period totalled 19.3 million (ZAR 414 million) with a further £ 17.7 million (ZAR 380 million) invested in acquisitions, leaving cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period under review standing at £ 21.7 million (ZAR 466 million), compared with £ 19.6 million (ZAR 384 million) at the year ended 30 June 2021
1. PGM – 6 Element Platinum Group Metals including platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium and gold
2. Average conversion rates used for the period under review for income statement purposes and the spot rate at period end for balance sheet purposes
Chrome Operations – South Africa
· Full integration of the new 80 000 tonne per month OBB Chrome Plant with the expanded Inyoni PGM plant was achieved within budget and in record time during November 2021, delivering an integrated chrome and PGM processing facility with the unique ability to process multiple feed sources
· Production of chrome concentrate increased by 41% to 609 734 tonnes, illustrating the early contribution from the new OBB Chrome Plant which was brought on-line at the end of Q2 2021 and ramped-up during Q3 2021 before being integrated with the newly expanded Inyoni Plant during November 2021
· Chrome revenue was up 28% to £ 30 million (ZAR 611 million) from H1 CY2021
· Chrome earnings were up 15% to £ 2 million (ZAR 42 million) from H1 CY2021
· The new chrome beneficiation facility follows the completion of the Windsor 8 Chrome Plant in October 2020 and which, combined, expands Jubilee’s chrome feed capacity to 250 000 tonnes per month of both chrome run-of-mine ore and historical tailings
· The increased chrome processing capacity directly contributes to increased PGM feed supply as a tailings stream produced from the chrome processing circuit
Copper Operations – Zambia
· Sable Refinery copper production up 70% to 1 314 tonnes compared with 774 tonnes for H1 CY2021 as part of the process to ensure operational readiness to accept first copper concentrate production from Jubilee’s Project Roan
· The commissioning of Jubilee’s Project Roan copper concentrator neared completion during the period with early commissioning activities commencing. The project remains on schedule to reach full production levels during the current period targeting an annual production rate of 10 000 tonnes per annum
· Jubilee’s Sable Refinery reported revenue from the sale of copper cathode of £ 8 million (ZAR 165 million) up 57% from H1 CY2021
· Sable Refinery achieved positive earnings as part of its operational readiness activities with attributable operational earnings of £ 3.2 million (ZAR 66 million) up 70% from H2 CY2021
Leon Coetzer, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
” I wish to congratulate the Jubilee team for successfully completing our fully integrated, world-class, Inyoni chrome and PGM facility in South Africa, and for further delivering on our Southern Copper Refining Strategy in Zambia. The current reporting period is an example of Jubilee’s continued commitment to invest into our company to secure further growth and sustainability of our operations.
Despite this challenging undertaking that lays our foundation for future performance, the team delivered a stellar operational performance.
“The Jubilee team has displayed exceptional commitment and ingenuity by implementing on-time and in-budget the complex integration of the newly constructed OBB Chrome Plant, with a fully upgraded and expanded Inyoni PGM circuit. The safety of our team was paramount during this complex project with the full project delivered without a single lost time injury to any member of our team, all while continuing to operate certain sections of the facility to maintain contractual commitments for the delivery of PGM ounces.
“This new circuit at Inyoni, expands our capability to produce 44 000 PGM ounces per annum, from 30 000 ounces previously, reducing Jubilee’s reliance on the Windsor JV agreement which led to a significant dilution of earnings.
“Our chrome results already illustrate the early impact of the new OBB Chrome Plant with an increase of 41% in the production of chrome concentrate during the period under review. In addition, the recovery of chrome from the various feed supplies produces an upgraded PGM feed stream to our PGM recovery plant.
“Our Southern Copper Refining Strategy in Zambia has reached a significant milestone with the commencement of commissioning activities at our newly constructed copper concentrator situated in Ndola (Project Roan) that delivers copper concentrate to our Sable Refinery and third-party suppliers.
“The early material produced under Project Roan as part of our Phase 1 implementation is already delivering results with a 70% step-up in copper production at our Sable Refinery.
“I look forward to the Jubilee operational team’s performance over the next six months with the full impact of the Inyoni facility being felt, as well as the targeted ramp-up at Roan enabling us to take another major step in our commitment to achieve annual copper production of 25 000 tonnes.”
Combined Operational and Financial update
The Company saw the culmination of a continued period of planned substantial infrastructure investment and integration across its projects, which resulted in scheduled operational downtime at the chrome and PGM operations to facilitate the construction and integration of new processing circuits. The newly constructed and commissioned fully integrated chrome and PGM facility has set a tremendous platform for future growth for the Company. It sets the example of the type of facility that the Company plans to develop as it expands its chrome and PGM operational footprint in the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld complex in South Africa. This is a strategic development, demonstrating Jubilee’s ability to continue to grow its business by re-investing its earnings into high growth projects.
During this period, the Company maintained its contractual obligations to deliver the required PGM production despite its Inyoni PGM operation only being partially operational to achieve 20 316 PGM ounces sold for H2 CY2021 (H1 CY2021: 21 975 ounces). The PGM results are skewed and impacted by the staged decommissioning and re-commissioning of the new integrated Inyoni facility over the reporting period resulting in the one-off release of certain lower-grade PGM inventories and refilling of the operational pipeline over the period. The total PGM ounces sold included in-process stock released as part of the recommissioning of the expanded and upgraded PGM facility. The in-process stock was sold as a lower grade PGM material and prior to the completion of the newly commissioned final product cleaning circuit. This release of inventory does not reflect the normally incurred full operational revenues and cost and therefore skews the overall PGM unit cost and PGM revenues delivered. These ounces are therefore excluded from the calculation of the reported PGM unit cost below.
Chrome operations achieved 609 734 chrome concentrate tonnes for H2 CY2021 (431 390 tonnes during H1 CY2021) on the back of increased operational capacities following the commissioning of the new OBB chrome beneficiation circuit which was fully integrated with the newly commissioned upgraded Inyoni PGM facility during the period under review.
In Zambia, copper production increased to 1 314 tonnes of copper for H2 CY2021 (H1 CY2021: 774 tonnes) as part of ensuring operational readiness to accept first copper concentrate production from Project Roan. Project Roan’s integrated copper concentrator near completion during the reporting period with early commissioning activities underway at the time of writing. The Roan concentrator is targeted to ramp up during the current period to deliver a targeted 10 000 tonnes of copper units annually. The fully operational Sable Refinery delivered increased positive earnings as part of its operational readiness activities with attributable operational earnings of £ 3.2 million for H2 CY2021, compared to £ 1.9 million for H1 CY2021.
8 February 2022
For further information visit www.jubileemetalsgroup.com or contact:
Jubilee Metals Group PLC
Colin Bird/Leon Coetzer
Tel +44 (0) 20 7584 2155 / Tel +27 (0) 11 465 1913
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