Jubilee Platinum CEO Leon Coetzer. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Jubilee Platinum CEO Leon Coetzer. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Jubilee Platinum is preparing to diversify its processing interests into copper, nickel, zinc and lead, potentially looking outside SA for growth opportunities.

Jubilee, after a long spell of building its presence in tailings retreatment to extract chrome and platinum group metals (PGMs), is actively involved in discussions to grow the company, said CEO Leon Coetzer and chairman Colin Bird.

The Tjate prospect, an undeveloped PGM resource, will be funded through the inclusion of a large partner, with the strategic importance of Tjate to its neighbours implying it could be one of SA’s large platinum miners.

The cost of the mine, which would need a shaft of 1.15km, was pegged at about $650m, a price well out of reach for Jubilee, which has a market capitalisation of R805m.

However, it was in tailings retreatment at Dilokong near Steelpoort and at Hernic near Brits that Jubilee was making its mark as a producer and attracting the interest of "blue-chip companies" to find ways to team up with the junior company to treat their waste and tailings dumps, said Coetzer.

"We are in discussions with significant mining players. We were invited to present a strategy to recover their minerals in their surface waste and tailings," he said. Some of these tailings were outside SA, containing zinc, lead, copper, nickel, platinum and chrome.

"That is our next growth target," Coetzer said, adding that Jubilee would hopefully, before the end of its financial year in June 2018, be in a position to give the market more information on this development.

Zambia and SA had "significant" amounts of zinc and lead in surface dumps, he said. Jubilee had secured $50m of funding.

At Dilokong, Jubilee said earlier in September, it had agreed on a third-party source of 40,000 tonnes a month of ore to extract chrome and PGMs, more than doubling the throughput at the plant.

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