Allens advises NAIF on Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project

Banking & Finance Infrastructure & Transport

Allens has advised the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) on $160 million project financing of the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

NAIF will support Kimberly Mineral Sands (KMS) – a joint venture between Sheffield Resources and Yansteel – to develop the first significant heavy mineral sand deposit to be discovered in the Canning Basin.

'NAIF plays an important role in the development of Northern Australia and we are pleased to have supported them with the financing of the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project,' said Partner Scott McCoy.

The project is forecast to generate 570 jobs over its lifetime, 225 during construction and 345 ongoing operational roles for the life of the mine. Sheffield has committed to build to 40% Aboriginal employment in the first eight years of operation and pay in excess of $100 million in royalties to Traditional Owners over the life of the mine.

'This is a significant project not only as one of the largest and highest-grade mineral sands deposits globally, but also because of the benefits it will bring to the local community. We are particularly proud to have supported on a project with such strong commitments to creating jobs and delivering economic outcomes for the local Indigenous community.'

Production is expected to begin in early 2024. Once in production, it is expected the mine will produce about 6.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent of the world's zircon and ilmenite, respectively.

This transaction builds on other significant transactions that Allens has worked on with NAIF in the last 18 months, including advising on debt facilities for up to $167.5 million for the Olive Downs Steelmaking Coal Project, and up to $610 million for the Kidston Pumped Hydro Project.

Allens legal team

Banking and Finance

Scott McCoy (Partner), Isabel Cropley (Finance Consultant), Michael Gibling (Senior Associate), Chathurika Ravindra (Associate), Paddy O'Brien (Lawyer), Joshua Graffi (Graduate)


Tristan Iredell (Partner), Eve Lynch (Partner), Darcy Doyle (Senior Associate)