PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mineral sands developer Sheffield Resources has officially opened a new office facility in Derby, Western Australia, which will play an important role in supporting the proposed Thunderbird project.
“Thunderbird offers enormous opportunities, and we’ve pledged to the Kimberley community to provide local jobs, training and business opportunities to ensure benefits stay in the Kimberley,” said Sheffield MD Bruce McFadzean.
“The Derby office will be the first point of contact for local community and stakeholder inquiries and will provide support to site for the owners works team.”
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said that it was pleasing to see the private sector show a greater commitment to boosting local content and local jobs in their operations.
“As the Thunderbird project continues to grow, Sheffield Resources will be able to further strengthen its ties to the Kimberley region through the local jobs, training and business opportunities,” the Premier added.
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.
The project will employ up to 250 people during construction and 280 once operational and is targeting 40% Aboriginal employment in the first eight years of operations.