‘The transaction with IRH marks a significant milestone on our journey in Zambia, catapulting our copper expansion in the region’
GLOBAL commodity markets faced headwinds galore in 2023, but Jubilee Metals under Coetzer still seems to have some wind in its sails. In October, the diversified metals and processing company teamed up with Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia to produce copper and cobalt from mine waste.
Jubilee also signed a technology exclusive partnership agreement for the development of a copper recovery solution called Glycine Leaching Technology to process historical copper tailings in Zambia with Draslovka Mining Solutions. The project could be extended into neighbouring DRC. Jubilee said in its first quarter operational report that “calculated copper extraction of more than 80% of copper in tails has been achieved from the continuous Glycine Leaching Technology trials”.
Key to Jubilee’s strategy is technical innovation aimed at unlocking value from assets that others have written off as waste. And tailings offer rich pickings. Coetzer is attempting to position Jubilee as a “green” company that is tapping the critical metals required to decarbonise the global economy in a way that addresses the physical legacies of historical mining operations. In an age when ESGs – environmental, social and governance concerns – have risen to the top of the corporate agenda, painting your company with a green sheen is an obvious way to attract and retain investors.
In South Africa, the company aims to expand its chrome operational footprint by an additional 450,000 tons a year. Jubilee is targeting two million tons of concentrates annually in the future. In December, Coetzer signed a deal with Abu Dhabi’s International Resources Holding – which seems to have won the race to buy Mopani Copper from the Zambian government. Jubilee and IRH will spend $50m with the aim of extracting 20,000 tons a year of copper from waste rock resources in Zambia.
LIFE OF LEON
Coetzer has been running Jubilee since 2010, when he was promoted from MD of smelting and refining to replace his mentor Colin Bird. Coetzer is a metallurgist by training, with a degree in chemical engineering from Stellenbosch University. This background explains his relentless focus on technology and innovation. Before joining Jubilee he worked for Anglo American for 20 years, of which 16 were spent with Amplats.