Sheffield, Woodside strike LNG deal for Thunderbird

As Sheffield Resources closes in on being 'construction ready’ at its Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia, it has tied up a new long-term agreement with Woodside Energy and Energy Developments for liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply
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Accommodation village at the Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia

Under the terms of the 15-year deal, the project will take delivery of 1,950 terajoules (TJ) annually at its storage facility. It will be supplied from Woodside's Pluto LNG truck loading facility near Karratha.

Sheffield officials said a newly formed joint venture between Woodside and EDL will own and operate a purpose-built road tanker fleet for the safe and reliable transport and delivery of the LNG to Thunderbird.

"The advantage of using LNG at Thunderbird is threefold, providing Sheffield with a low-cost, low-emission fuel source that is ideally suited to the ilmenite low temperature roast (LTR) process proposed for the Thunderbird processing plant," the company said in its just-released quarterly activities overview.

"The delivery of … final project milestones mean[s] the project is now significantly de-risked, fully permitted, approved and construction ready."

Thunderbird, with a 42-year estimated mine life, is projected to produce 76,100 tonnes per year of zircon, 68,500t/y of zircon concentrate, 387,800t/y of ilmenite and 229,800t/y of titano-magnetite.