Sheffield Resources is delighted to announce the opening of its Derby office as it takes another important step towards the development of the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project.

The Honourable Mark McGowan MLA, Premier of Western Australia and Mrs Josie Farrer MLA, Member for Kimberley, joined Sheffield Managing Director Bruce McFadzean at the official opening on Wednesday.

The town of Derby is integral to the success of Thunderbird, located midway between Derby and Broome. The local Derby office will play a pivotal role in supporting the Project, which is creating local employment and business opportunities.

Central to the Project is the Port of Derby, from which Sheffield plans to export mineral sands products having signed a binding Port Access Agreement with the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley in May. The agreement will see bulk commodities exported through Derby for the first time since 2009, bolstering the Port and stimulating growth and jobs.

Plans to prepare the Port for exports include upgrading existing infrastructure and constructing a new shed capable of storing up to 40,000 tonnes of product.

Sheffield is strengthening its presence in Derby as a growing number of local suppliers and local contractors are engaged in preliminary activities at Thunderbird. The Derby office will be the first point of contact for local community and stakeholder inquires and will provide support to site for the owners works team.

Unlike many resources projects in Western Australia, Thunderbird will operate on a drive-in driveout basis, meaning employees across the Project’s 42-year mine life will live locally and salaries will stay in the region.

“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 Managing Director Bruce McFadzean.

“We are turning to local businesses for a range of goods and services including plumbing, electrical, catering, training, installation of water monitoring bores, cranage, consumables, accommodation and equipment. This is evident in the $700,000 that Sheffield spent with 40 local suppliers in the last six months.”

The Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project is expected to create 220 jobs, increasing to 280 for the life-of-mine. Sheffield is targeting 40% Aboriginal employment in the first eight years of operations.

Local employment is already growing with almost half of Sheffield’s 41 employees based in the Kimberley while 72% of those are Aboriginal.

Thunderbird is one of the largest and highest-grade mineral sands projects in the world. Following the completion of a bankable feasibility in 2017, Sheffield has locked in than 75% of Stage 1 forecast revenue under binding offtake agreements, covering 100% of our Stage 1 zircon products and 50% of Stage 1 LTR ilmenite.

Regulatory approvals are also progressing, with the Western Australia Minister for the Environment recently providing a favourable determination for Thunderbird.

Sheffield Managing Director Bruce McFadzean, WA Premier Mark McGowan, Geoff Haerewa, President Shire of Derby-West Kimberley, Mrs Josie Farrer MLA, Member for Kimberley and Robert Watson, Chairman Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation

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For more information: Kim Pervan, Senior Advisor External Affairs. Tel: 08 6555 8777 Mobile: 0407 083 832

Categories: Press Release