Sheffield Resources (ASX:SFX) is still advancing its Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia and has now released an updated resource estimate. The current resource at Thunderbird contains approximately 3.2 billion tonnes of ore at an average grade of 6.9% heavy minerals.
Approximately 80% of this resource (based on a 3% cutoff grade) is located in the measured and indicated categories, and even if you would increase the cutoff grade to 7.5%, the measured and indicated resources would still contain approximately 860 million tonnes at an average grade of 12-13% HM.
The zircon grade remains very important in the high-grade zone, as the measured category contains approximately 2.2 million tonnes of Zirconium, which is currently being sold at $800-1000/t on the world markets. As the prices of the commodities in the mineral sands are moving up again, Thunderbird definitely has its merit and re-establishes itself as a large scale world-class mineral sands project. After completing the recently announced A$17M capital raise, Sheffield now has sufficient cash to complete the feasibility study, and the results of this study will very likely be released before the end of this year.