YGH Australia Investment (Yansteel) has signed definitive binding documents with Sheffield Resources related to the proposed A$130m ($101.3m) investment to acquire 50% stake in the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project.

The move will lead to the formation of an equally owned joint venture (JV) for the project and associated tenements.

The formation of the JV, lender agreement and the receipt of the investment are expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

This comes after the two companies signed a non-binding term sheet in August last year for the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project, located around 60km from Derby in Western Australia.

Sheffield managing director Bruce McFadzean said: “This is another exciting step forward for Thunderbird, our partnership with Yansteel, and for Sheffield Resources’ investors and stakeholders.

“In Yansteel we have a partner that is equally committed to the Project and we are both looking forward to a long and productive relationship. What is particularly pleasing is that both parties are committed to creating hundreds of jobs in the Kimberley, for decades to come.”

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By GlobalData

Once the JV is formed, a final bankable feasibility study will be completed as the companies aim to advance to the final investment decision (FID) during this year.

Thunderbird is said to be one of the largest and highest grade mineral sands discoveries made in the last 30 years.

It is expected to produce a high-quality suite of mineral sands products including zircon products and ilmenite suitable for manufacturing titanium dioxide pigment or smelting into chloride slag.