Sheffield Resources is going ahead with Stage 1 of Thunderbird

Nick Sundich Nick Sundich, October 7, 2022

Sheffield Resources (ASX:SFX) has announced its Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project (at least Stage 1 of the project) is going ahead, making the Final Investment Decision. It has been a long wait for shareholders to get this project into action, even though it is the first significant heavy mineral sand deposit to be discovered in its region (WA’s Canning Basin) and is one of the largest and highest-grade mineral sand deposits globally. So what is next? 

 

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Sheffield Resources says Thunderbird is go

Sheffield Resources has spent several years trying to get Thunderbird in action having completed its first Scoping Study back in 2014. So, it’s fair to say that today was a long time coming.

It already has funding in place with $315m in debt and $169m in equity, and has over 40% of construction activities complete. Production is still some time off, due to commence in the March quarter of CY24.

 

An NPV of A$1.3BN

The company’s Bankable Feasibility Study, completed in March this year, predicted a pre-finance post-tax Net Present Value (NPV) of A$1.3bn, a post-tax IRR of 28% and average annual EBITDA of $225m. Taking into account the company’s 50% stake in the project, this represents $121m in average EBITDA and an NPV of $695m. 

 

But only Stage 1

It is important to note that today’s FID by Sheffield Resources only related to Stage 1 of the project. Stage 1 will see 1,085 dry tph processed at its Wet Concentrate Plant (WCP). Stage 2 will be nearly double this at 2,170tph and this is targeted during Year 5 of operations. 

But considering Stage 2 won’t rely on additional deposits, an FID of Stage 2 is a question of when rather than if so long as mineral sand prices do not collapse. 

 

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