Sheffield locks in port access for Thunderbird mineral sands exports

Sheffield Resources has secured access to the Port of Derby for exports from its Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia.

The agreement with the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley will span at least 20 years of planned production, providing Sheffield with long-term access to a bulk handling facility and associated infrastructure at the Port of Derby.

Sheffield plans to export minerals sands bulk products, including LTR ilmenite, zircon concentrate and titano-magnetite from Thunderbird through Derby to markets around the world.

Port of Derby has previously been used to export base metals. According to Sheffield, the port is “very well suited” for mineral sands exports.

Sheffield managing director Bruce McFadzean said the execution of the port agreement was a key milestone as the company moved a step closer to developing the Thunderbird project.

“The port facility will provide employment and contact opportunities for the people of derby as we move Thunderbird towards construction and into production,” McFadzean said.

Sheffield’s bankable feasibility study for Thunderbird outlined a technically low risk, modest CAPEX project that would generate strong cash margins and globally significant levels of production over a 42-year mine life.

The company, which is targeting first production in 2020, believes Thunderbird will generate a high-quality suite of minerals sands products well suited to global market requirements.