Sheffield announces maiden HM Resource at Thunderbird

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Sheffield Resources (ASX: SFX) has announced a maiden mineral resource (Indicated and Inferred) for the Thunderbird prospect at the company’s Dampier heavy mineral sand (HMS) project near Derby in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia.

The Resource has come in at 1.37 billion tonnes at 6.1 per cent heavy minerals (HM) for 83 million tonnes of contained HM.

The resource includes a coherent high-grade core (at 7.5 per cent HM cut-off) of 517 million tonnese at 10.1 per cent HM (Indicated and Inferred) containing 3.6 million tonnes of zircon, 0.8 million tonnes of rutile, 2.2 million tonnes of leucoxene and 15.2 million tonnes of ilmenite.

This zone averages 20m thickness and is considered by the company to represent a good target for initial development studies.

The company claimed in-situ valuable heavy mineral (VHM) grades for this zone of 0.70 per cent zircon, 0.16 per cent rutile, 0.44 per cent leucoxene and 2.9 per cent ilmenite places Thunderbird within the top tier of HMS deposits globally.

“Thunderbird has a large tonnage, high grade resource close to surface – these three qualities position Thunderbird as a globally significant mineral sands deposit,” Sheffield Resources managing director Bruce McQuitty said in the company’s announcement to the Austral8ian Securities Exchange.

“To deliver such a large maiden resource within 15 months of the grant of the tenement is a great achievement by our exploration team and an outstanding result for our shareholders.”

Thunderbird is the first major mineral sands deposit to be discovered in the Canning Basin, which Sheffield believes to be emerging as an important new mineral sands province and is favourably located close to Asian markets.

Sheffield has secured over 4,000 square kilometres within the Canning Basin which it plans to aggressively explore for further large scale deposits.


Location of the Thunderbird Deposit and Sheffield’s tenement holding in the Canning Basin. Source: Company announcement


Thunderbird is one of two HMS occurrences within Sheffield’s Dampier project, located on crown land on the Dampier Peninsula about 60km west of the port at Derby, and 25km north of the sealed Great Northern Hwy joining Derby and Broome.

“The next key milestone, expected in Q1 2013, is results of metallurgical testwork, currently being performed on a six tonne bulk sample from Thunderbird,” McQuitty said.

“Results from this work will pave the way for Scoping Studies to commence in Q2 2013.”

“Importantly, the mineralisation at Thunderbird remains open in all directions.

“Next year’s drilling campaign will target extensions to the deposit and provide an initial test of the Argo deposit, located 12 kilometres to the west.”