(Reuters) – Jubilee Metals Group said on Tuesday it has formed a strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi-based International Resources Holdings (IRH) to recover copper from a historic waste dump in Zambia.
Africa’s number 2 copper producer Zambia last month picked IRH, a unit of Abu Dhabi’s most valuable listed company International Holding Company (IHC), as the new strategic equity partner in the state-owned Mopani Copper Mine.
IRH, which was not immediately available for comment, is actively pursuing the acquisition of metal assets including copper, nickel, graphite, manganese, cobalt and lithium which are essential to the UAE’s clean green energy drive.
Jubilee, which mainly focuses on recovering metals from mineral waste, said it had secured IRH’s investment to process an estimated 350 million metric tons of copper waste rock, which could potentially yield “in excess of 20,000 tons per annum of copper at a cost of below $4,000 per tonne of copper”.
Jubilee said it had agreed with IRH to form a dedicated special purpose vehicle through which both the acquisition of the copper waste rock and implementation of the processing solution will be funded, at an estimated cost of $50 million.
“Under the funding term sheet IRH undertakes to provide all capital required by the special purpose vehicle through a combination of equity in the special purpose vehicle and shareholder loans,” Jubilee said in a statement.
The construction and commissioning of the copper retreatment works would be completed within a 12 month period, Jubilee said, with work expected to start in the first quarter of 2024.
Jubilee will design, implement and operate the mining and processing project on behalf of the joint venture, it added.
(Reporting by Nelson Banya; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith)