Sheffield Resources directors Bruce McQuitty, David Archer and Will Burbury.
Sheffield Resources directors Bruce McQuitty, David Archer and Will Burbury.

UPDATE 2.20pm: Sheffield Resources has confirmed plans to raise $11.5 million in a placement to further develop its Thunderbird mineral sands project in the Kimberley.

The company will issue 14.2 million new shares at 81 cents to sophisticated and professional investors through broker Hartleys.

Sheffield's three directors have collectively agreed to commit $320,000 of their own money into the placement.

Managing director Bruce McQuitty said the raising, first flagged in WestBusiness yesterday, would deliver Sheffield a robust balance sheet to deliver on significant upcoming milestones.

"The company will soon commence drilling to target extensions of high grade mineralisation at Thunderbird, with the aim of expanding the existing resource and enhancing the already outstanding project economics."

Buoyed by positive scoping work unveiled last month, Sheffield has launched a pre-feasibility study, which it expects to be complete in the first quarter of 2015.

Under its timetable, Thunderbird would move into definitive feasibility shortly after, with construction to get under way the following year and production to begin in 2017.

The scoping study put development costs at $289 million and showed potential for Thunderbird to generate strong margins as a major producer of ilmenite and zircon over 30 years.

With Thunderbird 140km by road from Broome and Derby, each has figured in Sheffield's planning as it looks at port and export options.

Sheffield shares closed up six cents, or 6.9 per cent, at 93 cents.

The West Australian

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