Sheffield Resources has inked a joint venture (JV) agreement with Yansteel for the Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia.
The JV will see Yansteel acquire 50 per cent of the project through a $130.1 million investment, with the JV subject to final negotiation and agreement.
Sheffield Resources managing director Bruce McFadzean said the JV would provide funds for the Thunderbird stage one project.
“The joint venture with Yansteel, if completed, will provide the project equity presently estimated to fund stage one of the Thunderbird project. The transaction with Yansteel also secures offtake for all of the ilmenite,” he said.
“We welcome Yansteel as a shareholder and look forward to working with them to develop Thunderbird. To attract such a strong partner is testimony to the quality of the Thunderbird mineral sands project.
“This outcome achieves all of the objectives of the strategic partner process undertaken by Sheffield over the past 18 months and, if completed, will provide the means by which Sheffield shareholders can realise the underlying value of the project.”
Yansteel is a subsidiary of Tangshan Yanshan Iron & Steel Co, which is a China-based privately owned steel manufacturer.
Tangshan has started construction of a 500 thousand tonne a year integrated titanium dioxide processing facility, which will consume low temperature roast ilmenite offtake from the Thunderbird project.
The Thunderbird project will supply ilmenite and zircon at a global level, and is set to provide an estimated 400 construction jobs, along with 200 operational jobs based in the Kimberly region for 37 years.
It is expected to generate $750 million in royalties, and $2 billion in taxes across the project lifetime.