Sheffield just made three mineral sands discoveries
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Near-term mineral sands producer Sheffield Resources has announced three new discoveries near its flagship West Australian “Thunderbird” deposit.
Sheffield boss Bruce McFadzean said the high exploration success rate and diversity of deposit styles around Thunderbird “are supportive of an emerging new mineral sand province within the Canning Basin” of Western Australia.
“These discoveries add to an already exciting time for shareholders as we move forward with the development of Thunderbird and unlock the exploration upside of the Canning Basin mineral sands province,” Mr McFadzean said.
The discoveries — called ‘Cold Duck’, ‘Porphyry Pearl’ and ‘Cisco’ – were the result of an exploration program targeting large, zircon rich deposits suitable for processing at the Thunderbird project processing plant.
A follow-up drilling program designed to extend and define the size of the mineralisation at these prospects was scheduled for the second or third quarter of 2019.
Zircon is a very hard mineral resistant to corrosion and heat used in engines, electronics, spacecraft and ceramics.
Global zircon supply is declining at a rate of about 4.7 per cent each year through to 2026 — at the same time, demand is forecast to grow 2.8 per cent each year over the same period.