With all major approvals, the Mining Lease, offtake agreements and debt facilities in place, Sheffield Resources has commenced preliminary site works on the world class zircon-rich Thunderbird HMS deposit. The Project, which is located on the Dampier Peninsula of Western Australia, is just 140km by road from either Broome or Derby - it is planned to ship products through Derby, with a 20 year Port Access Facility in place.
Development of the Project, which has a mine life of at least 42 years and with first production expected in late 2020, is well timed to take advantage of improving mineral sands markets, particularly in zircon. Prices have steadily improved since their nadir in 2016, with this due to a number of factors, including increasing demand, stockpiles being sold down and curtailment of a number of operations; this has been exacerbated by recent unrest at Rio Tinto's Richard Bay Minerals operations in South Africa, one of the world's largest single producers of zircon and ilmenite.
Thunderbird is not the only deposit in the broader Dampier Project area; recent drilling has confirmed the quality of the nearby Night Train discovery, with this returning thick intersections of high grade, zircon rich mineral sand mineralisation that is open along strike and down dip. This, other recent discoveries and resource upside at Thunderbird highlight the resource and operation expansion potential.
The Company also holds projects in the Perth Basin, including Eneabba and McCalls, which provide future large scale development opportunities.
To download our latest research note on Sheffield please follow the link.