KMS Community Newsletter June 2023

First vehicles delivered under new local contract

Joombarn Buru Traditional Owner Cody Sibosado from RTS Alliance recently handed over the keys to the first five light vehicles to KMS’s Manager Community and Public Relations Chris Cottier.

RTS Alliance will be supplying us with 20 light vehicles for the mine site under a three-year agreement, which is one of the first major business contracts awarded to local Traditional Owners and delivered under our commitment to the Joombarn Buru Native Title Holders as we progress towards the operational phase of Thunderbird.

Recruiting now for site-based roles

Our recruitment campaign has reached new levels with nearly 30 positions being advertised now for site-based roles to start in September. We’re especially looking for people in the following trades:

Boilermakers | Plumbers | Storespeople

HV/Electrical Fitters | Mechanical Fitters

Crane | Mobile Plant Operators

All site-based positions are BIBO (Bus In Bus Out) from Broome or Derby, with competitive wages, a great family-friendly roster, Kimberley living and housing allowance and many other benefits.

Keep an ear out for our recruitment ads on Radio Goolarri and 6DBY, or see our posters at the airport, shopping centres and around town, so if you’re interested and would like to find out more about all the jobs being advertised, please visit our website or drop our recruitment team a line.

Recruitment is well-advanced for key leadership personnel across all operational disciplines with many positions now filled.

Stakeholder & Board Visits

Sheffield analysts and board members reviewing plans at the mining area; Yansteel directors at the WCP screening building; Yansteel directors at the Storm Storage Pond.

KMS Shareholders and market analysts recently took the opportunity to get up close to the construction activities at Thunderbird as we edge closer to completion.

Yansteel directors Mr Mo and Alan Smith along with senior KMS management toured the site and enjoyed the view over the process plant from the Wet Concentrate Plant screening building as well as inspecting the Storm Storage Pond works.

Sheffield Resources also recently held a market analysts and board tour, holding their May board meeting from site. It was the first time in a while that market analysts and the Sheffield Board had visited Thunderbird, and everyone was very complimentary regarding the site and the quality of the work.

Broome Business Excellence Awards

Broome Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards celebrate the success of small businesses in Broome and encourage businesses to innovate and plan for the future.

We’re supporting the awards by sponsoring the Team Culture and Employee Acknowledgement category, which recognises a business that has excelled in supporting inclusion and diversity in the workplace through initiatives and or support programs.

Nominations are open now until 30 June and all Broome businesses are eligible to enter. This year, the application process has been simplified and can be easily completed online.

Finalists and winners will be announced at the Casino Royale themed Gala Awards on Saturday 21 October.

What Mineral Sands will Thunderbird produce?

Thunderbird will produce three mineral sands concentrates; Non-Magnetic, Magnetic and Paramagnetic.

Non-Magnetic Concentrate (NMC)

The main product from Thunderbird is the zircon rich concentrate or Non-Magnetic Concentrate. This concentrate contains zircon sand that requires further processing before the zircon is ready for supply into global markets in a wide range of applications.

Major uses for zircon sand are ceramics and tiles for bathroom and kitchens. Other minor uses include everyday items such as antiperspirants, inks and paint, refractory or foundry and zirconium.

Almost 100% of Australian zircon sand is exported for further processing as the industry and technology for high end zircon process upgrades do not yet exist in Australia. China is the biggest importer of zircon sand at just over 50% of the global market.

Magnetic Concentrate (MC)

Thunderbird will also produce an ilmenite concentrate or Magnetic Concentrate, which contains titanium that will require further processing before it is ready for end use applications. Over 90% of ilmenite concentrates are processed to make titanium dioxide pigment, which is a white mineral powder.

Titanium dioxide pigment is used in the production of materials such as plastics, paints, paper, ink, rubber, sunscreen and even food additives and pharmaceuticals. Other titanium-based minerals such as rutile, leucoxene, and synthetic rutile are also used to produce titanium dioxide pigment.

KMS’s JV partner Yansteel is currently building an ilmenite processing plant in China, which will take 100% of the magnetic concentrate from Thunderbird and produce titanium dioxide pigment.

Para-Magnetic Concentrate (PMC)

The third concentrate produced at Thunderbird is a Para-Magnetic Concentrate, which contains low levels of zircon and titanium minerals. The PMC will be processed in the same manner as the NMC with the valuable minerals extracted and supplied to similar markets.

For more detailed information, see our Mineral Sands Mining factsheet.

Construction approaching 90% complete

Our construction team are kicking goals with on-site construction at Thunderbird now approaching 90% complete ahead of our planned commissioning activities in the second half of the year. The construction team have now completed over 750,000 project labour hours Lost Time Injury free.

In the last month installation of major equipment including spirals, WHIMS (wet high intensity magnet separators), piping and electrical has progressed well. Waste mining contractor Carey Mining has also started clearing activities on the starter pit ready for the commencement of ore mining later in the year.