Sheffield Resources’ Thunderbird Mineral Sand Project

Sheffield Resources Thunderbird

Sheffield Resources’ Thunderbird Mineral Sand Project

The Project

Sheffield Resources’ Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project is located 60 kilometres west of Derby within the Canning Basin in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

The Thunderbird deposit is one of the largest and highest grade mineral sands discoveries of the last 30 years and the first major mineral sand deposit discovered in the Canning Basin.


Scoping studies have shown the project has the potential to generate consistently strong cash margins and production levels for an initial 32 year mine life.

Thunderbird Managing Director Bruce McQuitty said Thunderbird is located in a stable jurisdiction, has an export solution and is well placed to take advantage of expected product supply gaps that are aligned with the initial planned production profile.

Sheffield’s metallurgical test work program has shown Thunderbird will generate high quality, marketable products, using conventional mineral sands processing technology.

The recently completed pre-feasibility study estimated the Thunderbird project would produce an average of 114,000 tonnes of zircon, 439,000 tonnes of ilmenite and 30,000 tonnes of leucoxene per year. Mr McQuitty said the projected production of zircon gives Thunderbird a point of difference over other mineral sands projects. With few major new zircon projects in development globally, Sheffield is well placed to meet future demand for zircon.

Government support

Thunderbird is a level 2 lead agency project with the Department of Mines and Petroleum. The department advises and assists the company with coordinating approvals across State Government agencies.