International Resources Holding (IRH) has exercised its right to proceed with the establishment of a joint venture (JV) with Jubilee Metals Group to extract copper from a waste rock dump in Zambia.

This initiative is set to process more than 260mt of copper-containing surface material.

The JV between United Arab Emirates-based IRH and Jubilee Metals Group aims to establish four modular processing plants with a combined annual capacity of 2.4mt.

The project is anticipated to produce more than 20,000t of copper concentrates each year, beginning in the second quarter of calendar year 2024, with Jubilee’s share accounting for 30% of the output.

The collaboration, formalised in a binding framework and JV agreement in December last year, will see IRH providing the necessary capital for the project’s execution, while Jubilee will be responsible for its implementation and operation.

The agreement allocates a 70% stake in the JV to IRH and the remaining 30% to Jubilee.

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Following Jubilee’s comprehensive due diligence, which included metallurgical testing and analysis of historical data, the quantity of waste rock material has been verified to exceed 260mt.

The assembly of a new modular unit at the Roan facility is on track, with commissioning set for April 2024.

This addition will enhance Roan’s processing capabilities, allowing for the handling of various feed sources and increasing its copper concentrate production capacity to 13,000t per annum.

Jubilee has also reported progress on Project Munkoyo, with an aeromagnetic survey revealing a significant magnetic anomaly indicative of copper mineralisation, supported by geochemical assays from trenching samples.

Project Munkoyo, situated near the Sable refinery in the Kapiri Mposhi district, spans 450 hectares. The initial delivery of copper ore from this site to the Sable refinery is targeted for September 2024.

Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer said: “The expansion of our copper operations are well under way as we look to significantly increase our copper production in the coming months on the back of the expansion of both Roan and Sable.

“I am particularly excited by the progress of our strategic relationship with IRH as we look to jointly develop the large Waste Rock Project, which holds the potential to again demonstrate Jubilee’s unique capability of turning waste to value.

“Our chrome business continues to grow with Jubilee’s renowned processing and operational capabilities as the drivers of our success.”