PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mineral sands developer Sheffield Resources has inked a maiden ilmenite offtake agreement for its Thunderbird project, in Western Australia.
The company on Thursday told shareholders that the five-year agreement with Bengbu Zhongheng New Materials would see the company supply 150 000 t/y of ilmenite.
The offtake agreement represented around 50% of the estimated total volume of ilmenite produced from the Stage 1 operation at Thunderbird.
“We welcome and value the important relationship that we have established with Bengbu and look forward to further growth opportunities in the future,” said Sheffield MD Bruce McFadzean.
“This binding offtake agreement further demonstrates the quality of products that Sheffield will export from Thunderbird. Through this relationship, we are able to target Thunderbird ilmenite as feedstock for the high growth chloride slag market.”
McFadzean said that with the Bengbu offtake agreement in place, more than 75% of the Stage 1 forecast revenue was contracted under binding offtake agreement covering 100% of the Stage 1 zircon products and 50% of the ilmenite.
“Demand for our products remains very strong and we look forward to providing the community and our shareholders with further offtake and project updates in the future.”
Over its 42-year mine life, Thunderbird is expected to deliver 76 100 t/y of premium zircon, 68 500 t/y of zircon concentrate, 387 800 t/y of ilmenite and 229 800 t/y of titano-magnetite.
Thunderbird will be developed in two stages, with Stage 1 estimated to cost A$271-million to deliver an initial 8.5-million-tonne-a-year operation, doubling to 17-million tonnes a year in the fifth year of operation, for an additional cost of A$195-million.