Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

    Derby business expansion: a sign of confidence in the Kimberley

    5/07/2018 9:15 AM
    • New Derby office to support developing mineral sands project operations
    • Thunderbird project to provide a boost to local jobs and the Kimberley economy
    • Sheffield Resources commits to developing a local Aboriginal workforce           

    Local business Sheffield Resources is cementing its commitment to the Kimberley region by opening a Derby office as part of the developing Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project.


    Premier Mark McGowan joined Member for Kimberley Josie Farrer MLA for the office opening.


    Sheffield Resources decision to mine mineral sands on the Dampier Peninsula represents a significant investment in the State.


    The Project will employ up to 250 people during construction and 280 once operational and is targeting 40 per cent Aboriginal employment in the first eight years of operations.


    Thunderbird will operate on a drive-in drive-out basis to ensure employees can live and work locally.


    This level of investment is a nod of confidence in the industry and further highlights the State's position as a leading supplier of these important minerals.


    Thunderbird is a world class mineral sands project estimated as being among the largest and highest grade of Zircon and Ilmenite rich ore reserves.


    The local Derby office will play a pivotal role in supporting the project, which is creating local employment and business opportunities.


    Existing infrastructure at the Port of Derby will be used for storage, transhipment and export of bulk commodity products from Thunderbird. A 20-year access agreement has been secured with the Shire of Derby West Kimberley and the Department of Transport.


    The project is expected to benefit the native title holders of the region.


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "My Government is focussed on investing in regional areas, driving local content and creating jobs to benefit local communities across Western Australia.


    "We have been implementing our Plan for Jobs and already through State Government led initiatives we are making it easier for WA businesses to approach government with project ideas.


    "Through the WA IndustryLink portal, we've created more resources to engage WA business that would like to tender for State Government work.


    "It's pleasing to see the private sector show a greater commitment to boosting local content and local jobs in their operations. As the Thunderbird project continues to grow, Sheffield Resources will be able to further strengthen its ties to the Kimberley region through the local jobs, training and business opportunities.


    "The State Government is pleased to have worked closely with Sheffield Resources to leverage its existing infrastructure and secure this investment for the State." 


    Comments attributed to Member for Kimberley Josie Farrer MLA:


    "The Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project is expected to create hundreds of jobs and opportunities for the local community.


    "I commend Sheffield Resources for its work with local businesses already to secure goods and services such as electrics, workwear and equipment for its operations and I hope this level of local content and support continues to grow.


    "This investment in the Kimberley shows just how much this region has to offer and the potential when local businesses work together."


    Premier's office: 6552 5000