Thunderbird gliding forward

Sheffield Resources, just four months on from inking a port access agreement for the Port of Derby for its Thunderbird mineral sands project, has been granted a mining lease by the Western Australia Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety
Thunderbird gliding forward Thunderbird gliding forward Thunderbird gliding forward Thunderbird gliding forward Thunderbird gliding forward

Schematic Thunderbird mine layout

Staff Reporter

With the approval now received, Sheffield - which is aiming to open Thunderbird for production in 2020 - needs now to only receive an environmental permit from federal officials. That is expected to come this month.

In the meantime, managing director Bruce McFadzean said the lease is a key milestone in its path to starting construction preparations.

"Thunderbird has a mine life of more than 40 years, and this milestone enables us to deliver on our commitments to traditional owners and local communities," he said.

Thunderbird, considered to possess the first major mineral sands deposit discovered in the Canning Basin of Western Australia and one of the largest mineral sands deposits to be discovered in the last three decades, is located on the Dampier Peninsula  60km west of Derby.

It is projected to produce 76,100t annually of premium zircon and 68,500t per year of zircon concentrate as well as 387,000t/y of ilmenite and titano-magnetite of nearly 230,000t/y.