Jubilee, the AIM-quoted and JSE-listed mine-to-metals specialist, has revealed that it has agreed with Platinum Australia (PLA) to extend the finality of the planned acquisition of PLA by Jubilee to 31 July 2013.The company explained that the central location of PLA‘s PhokaThaba Platinum Mine within the Eastern Limb of South Africa‘s platinum region makes the operation attractive for the processing of 3rd party material in the region, adding that this has the potential to add significant flexibility to the PhokaThaba operation to counter the volatility in the platinum price through increased toll processing. Further, Jubilee said that it has been approached for the processing of 3rd party material in the region that would add to the already approximately 800 000 t of platinum containing DCM tailings adjacent to the PhokaThaba operation. Jubilee noted that this offers the proposed enlarged group the option of combining toll processing of 3rd party material with the processing of own material from the PhokaThaba mine, allowing a slower mine ramp-up and a significant reduction in the capital required for the mine to reach full operation and thus the required transactional funding. Meanwhile, the company revealed that quarterly revenues from the group’s smelting and refining operations and third party electricity sales increased by 32% to R16.4 milillion during Q1 2013 from R12.4 million achieved in Q4 2012. Also, gross profit increased by 47% to R11.2 million in Q1 2013 from R 7.6 million in Q4 2012.
Jubilee pointed out that the increase in gross profit is mainly attributable to the increasing third party sales of electricity, generated from the power plant. The ferroalloy smelters operated at approximately 72% of capacity during this period. Processing of platinum containing concentrates is targeted in line with the commencement of operations at the platinum-bearing DCM tailings project, the company added.“Jubilee continues to drive growth in its operations despite the challenging trading conditions. During Q1 of 2013 Jubilee has taken significant strides towards implementing its mine-to-metals strategy. “The increases in revenue and gross profit highlight the benefits of our focus on earnings growth. Increased processing rates, growing rates of power sales and the creation of a platinum, exploration, mining, processing and smelting and refining business are key to the continued development of the business. “We have been able to successfully grow the revenues from the Middelburg operation from non platinum bearing material. The processing of non-platinum bearing material remains peripheral to Jubilee‘s larger platinum focus and has been used as a leverage to install platinum processing capacity in the Eastern Limb of South Africa‘s Bushveld Igneous Complex. The installed furnace capacity forms a key part of the Dilokong Chrome Mine (“DCM”) tailings and PLA’s PhokaThaba solution. “The directors believe that the proposed PLA acquisition continues to offer strong value accretion for Jubilee shareholders and the combined assets offer flexibility to operate PhokaThaba both as a primary mining asset as well as a significant processor of 3rd party material due to the central location of the operation. This flexibility adds great strength to the operation and offers the company options to react to a changing platinum market,” concluded Jubilee’s CEO Leon Coetzer.