PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Thunderbird mineral sands project has been granted environmental approval by the Western Australian Minister of Environment.
ASX-listed Sheffield Resources said on Tuesday that the Minister had dismissed all appeals on the Works Approval as well as the majority of the appeals on the Environmental Protection Authority Report, which was published in October last year.
“This is a great outcome for our shareholders, the local Kimberley communities and is another significant step towards the development of Thunderbird,” said Sheffield MD Bruce McFadzean.
“We look forward to finalising the state consultation process over the coming weeks before concluding the federal environment approval, which is expected early in the third quarter of 2018.”
Over its 42-year mine life, Thunderbird is expected to deliver some 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.