Sheffield Resources (ASX: SFX) is celebrating first ore production from its 50% owned Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia.
Ore production has commenced, several weeks ahead of the original FID schedule.
The initial stages of ore processing will see a gradual ramp up through to steady state processing, production of concentrates, and building of concentrate product stockpiles on site and at the port of Broome in preparation for the first delivery of product to customers. Sheffield expects Kimberley Mineral Sands will load the first shipment of concentrate product early in Q1 2024.
We wish to thank and congratulate the Kimberley Mineral Sands team, our partner Yansteel, the EPC contractor GR Engineering Services Limited and each of KMS’ contracting partners for their contribution to this tremendous achievement,” Executive Chair, Bruce Griffin said.
“Delivery of a greenfield mining project in Australia can be a challenging experience, particularly for a junior miner. Overcoming these hurdles, especially in the current inflationary environment to deliver first ore production ahead of schedule and under budget and without a lost time injury is an outstanding achievement that each and every one associated with Thunderbird should be incredibly proud of.”
“With production activities now underway at Thunderbird, KMS are now focussed on accumulating concentrate stockpiles and to enable delivery of the forecast first shipment of product early in the new year.”
The Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project is one of the largest and highest grade mineral sands discoveries in the last 30 years. The 2022 KMS Bankable Feasibility Study shows Thunderbird is a technically low risk project, that generates strong cash margins from globally significant levels of production over a decades long mine-life.
With operations forecast to commence in late 2023, Thunderbird is expected to generate a high-quality suite of mineral sands concentrate products suited to market requirements. These products include a zircon concentrate and a magnetic concentrate that contains a high quality ilmenite suitable smelting into chloride slag or for manufacturing titanium dioxide pigment.