Sheffield Resources will take out a $95 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to open a new mine and mineral facility in Western Australia.
Located on the Dampier Peninsula, 70km south-west of Derby, the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project has the potential to create 400 jobs in the Kimberley during construction and 280 direct jobs over the life of the mine.
It will produce premium grade zircon and titanium dioxide and co-products for the export market, with the raw minerals being processed on site.
The project entails the construction of significant infrastructure such as upgraded roads, an LNG power generation facility and ship loading and storage infrastructure at Derby.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the mine has an estimated operating life of 42 years, an incredible time span when it comes to creating and supporting direct and indirect jobs for generations of Australians.
“This is great news for workers because the mine is going to provide intergenerational opportunities for the area, particularly the towns of Derby and Broome,” Mr Canavan added.
“Mineral sands are used in a broad range of everyday products such as mobile phones, x-ray screens, fibre optics, paint and plastics. They are widely used now and will continue to be, locking in the mine’s viability and longevity.”
“That’s what the NAIF is all about – providing the right financial support to get new opportunities in Northern Australia off the ground, creating more jobs and wealth for our nation.”
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said it was wonderful to see a company like Sheffield make such a strong, long-term commitment to the Kimberley, particularly its public commitment to build up to 40% Aboriginal employment in the first eight years of operation.
“All that work and the ongoing mining operation will inject a massive number of jobs into the region, and we’ll see even more positions supported when local businesses tap into providing services to the mine,” she concluded.