London- and Johannesburg-listed tailings treatment specialist Jubilee Metals expects to increase its chrome concentrate output by 8,000-10,000 t/month after acquiring the rights to tailings that were formerly owned by South African ferrochrome producer Hernic.
Jubilee has agreed to pay around $16.4mn to gain access to all the chrome in historic tailings at Hernic, which went into business rescue in 2017 and is in the process of being acquired by Samancor Chrome. This amounts to 1.7mn t of tailings, as well as 630,000t of previously processed tailings and 1mn t of surface material containing platinum group metals (PGMs).
The company, which also produces chrome concentrate from tailings at the Dilokong mine in South Africa's Limpopo province, currently has the capacity to process 55,000 t/month of chrome- and PGM-containing material at Hernic — which it calls its Inyoni project — with output of up to 9,000 t/month of saleable chrome concentrate and 2,250 oz/month of PGMs.
Jubilee produced 164,936t of chrome concentrate and 11,559oz of PGMs in the first half of 2019 and is aiming to increase its output of both metals streams in the second half of the year.
It is also advancing its Kabwe project in Zambia, which is focused on producing zinc, lead and vanadium from surface deposits, using the Sable zinc smelter acquired from Glencore.