Sheffield off to court again as native title dispute continues
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The ongoing native title dispute plaguing Sheffield Resources’ big Thunderbird minerals sands project in the Kimberley region has taken yet another turn.
An new appeal has been lodged by the Mount Jowlaenga Polygon #2 claimant group with the full Federal Court after an initial appeal was quashed by a single judge of the High Court late last month.
Investors weren’t too happy with the news of another court hearing with the stock (ASX:SFX) closing 12.4 per cent lower at 74c on Thursday. Sheffield’s shares have traded between 41c and 85c in the past year.
In June, the National Native Title Tribunal gave its blessing to the mining lease on which the Thunderbird project is located.
An appeal was then made by the claimant group regarding the good faith decision by the tribunal to approve the mining lease.
However, at the time Sheffield said there was a period within which the matter could be appealed to the full Federal Court, because the ruling was by a single judge.
The full Federal Court is now challenging the dismissal of the appeal by the single judge.
“This matter has been comprehensively considered and decided in Sheffield’s favour by both the tribunal and the Federal Court,” Sheffield managing director Bruce McFadzean told investors.
“We continue to maintain we have a strong positon in this matter. Shiffield will endeavour to have the matter expedited.”
It’s a blow to Sheffield which has only this week received the environmental watchdog’s conditional tick of approval for the development of Thunderbird.
The project still requires final sign-off from the Minister for Environment.
Any appeals must be lodged within 14 days of publication of the report.
Sheffield’s feasibility study shows Thunderbird is a technically low risk, modest capex project that generates strong cash margins from production over a mine life of 42 years.