Jubilee Metals Group PLC (LON:JLP) Chief Executive Officer Leon Coetzer caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the processing agreement with Northam Platinum
Q1: We’ve just seen an agreement with Northam announced this morning, can you explain for us how this benefits Jubilee Metals?
A1: It’s a particularly significant agreement for Jubilee which we negotiated quite hard to enter into. Of course, the most significant component of the agreement is the fact that our platinum-rich material can now be processed through an existing plant at Northam Platinum, which of course is one of the world’s five biggest platinum producers.
What is does mean is that Jubilee can access this plant which will be refurbished and recapitalised by Northam, so Jubilee does not have the capital exposure to recapitalise and get the plant ready for the platinum recovery process. Also, it significantly shortens the timeline for us to build, construct and commission our own platinum recovery plant for the PlatCro material. If we had to opt to build our own plant, just the regulatory licensing to be able to commence construction plus the construction period would mean that we would push the physical operational side of the PlatCro project out to very late 2019 if we were lucky. Now, with this agreement, we are able to commence production really as early as February 2019, of course we’ll be pushing to bring that forward and we will start transporting this platinum-rich material across to Northam from June to make sure we build up a significant stockpile of platinum-rich material.
I suppose in summary, the beauty of this agreement is we gain access to a platinum recovery plant that’s been refurbished, recapitalised to the latest technologies without any capital exposure to Jubilee. We are able to partner with a well-established, very large platinum producer and of course, that opens up any future doors for Jubilee to work far closer with Northam on various other opportunities so very excited about the agreement.
Q2: You also refer to growing your strategic relationship with Northam, could you expand on that for us please?
A2: As with most things, Northam and us, or especially Northam, have looked at Jubilee and our capabilities on our processing skill which we’ve established and demonstrated at our Hernic operations at Dilokong. We’ve been consulting to Northam for a couple of years, people might recall that we were quite involved with ConRoast and the smelting process at Northam Platinum. The two executive teams have recognised one another skill and really have invited the two companies to work more closely to look at what other opportunities are, both within Northam and their waste as well as what other waste opportunities, or surface materials from mine waste, can Jubilee access and possibly partner with Northam to have that process.
So, really, it’s a relationship where Jubilee is able to work more closely with a large producer that already has significant waste at surface that we could potentially access and to assist Northam to extract that value. Simultaneously, Jubilee being able to secure, as we’ve demonstrated to the market, a lot of this mine waste material to recover the metals from that mine waste, we could have potentially access to the process capability already existing in Northam so very much a logistical relationship that’s forming between us and Northam.