Sheffield moves to produce more zircon from Thunderbird

Sheffield Resources MD Bruce McFadzean at Thunderbird.

Sheffield Resources is taking steps to increase zircon production at the Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia by launching an updated bankable feasibility study (BFS).

The updated BFS follows six months of detailed technical assessment by Sheffield and its contractor GR Engineering Services, with the primary focus of reducing capital expenditure and increasing zircon production.

This move signals Sheffield’s response to zircon’s predicted strong growth and supply deficit for the foreseeable future, according to Sheffield managing director Bruce McFadzean.

The updated BFS also addresses updates to ore reserves, commodity pricing and the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, which have moved positively since the BFS was first completed more than two years ago.

“Thunderbird is a Tier 1 asset in a Tier 1 jurisdiction in an increasingly positive mineral sands sector,” McFadzean said.

“Since completing the BFS in the first quarter of 2017, we have delivered a construction ready project with binding offtake agreements, secured finance, obtained necessary permits, and we have most key contracts in place.

“We remain excited by the opportunities emerging from the updated BFS, which is being undertake in parallel to the strategic partner process, and we look forward to updating the market with further definitive information as we advance our study.”

Sheffield expects to finalise the BFS early in the July quarter.

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