Kimberley Mineral Sands Community Newsletter January 2024

First Products Set Sail

In an historic milestone for the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project, this month we celebrated two lots of first exports! In mid-January the first small export of bagged zircon set sail from Port Hedland on board a regular scheduled vessel, and then just this morning our first KMS chartered vessel left the Port of Broome with around 5,000 tonnes of zircon onboard bound for our global offtake partners in Asia.

Achieving these first exports would not have been possible without the hard work from many people, including all our staff and contractors, government and industry stakeholders and the community. Thank you all for your contribution to this huge project milestone!

Photo: Neil and Lani from our Marketing Team with the bagged zircon product ready for export.

Faces of Thunderbird

You might have seen our first social media posts in our ‘Faces of Thunderbird’ campaign, which aims to bring out the human side of our operations. Among the first to be featured is Cultual Heritage and Environment Ranger Rona who’s been involved with the Thunderbird project since the beginning.

Rona is a Joombarn-buru Traditional Owner who has lived in Mowanjum and Mt Barnett most of her life, and never imagined that her previous work in conservation could lead her to a job in mining!

“I never thought the two sides could come together in a job on a mine for me,” she said.

Rona’s typical day on site starts with a 4.30am alarm call, followed by the pre-start meeting where everyone comes together to talk about the work plan for the day, particular challenges and successes, and the all-important five question quiz!

Every day’s work for Rona is different - from bore runs and testing, water monitoring, flora surveying and checking feral cat traps, to working in the nursery where seeds are being germinated and nurtured into plants that will be used for ongoing mine rehabilitation.

One of the things Rona loves about her job is being able to work across all the different areas on site, being able to connect back to Country, and meeting lots of local people who are employed by KMS and our contractors.

She’s proud to be working on a project that she’s been part of from the start and is excited about the skilled career opportunities Thunderbird will offer future generations.

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Kingsound wins Derby Shuttle Bus contract

We’ve recently awarded Joombarn-buru owned Derby-based Kingsound Transport and Charters a three-year contract to run the Thunderbird Derby shuttle bus service.

The shuttle bus will run return services to transport Kimberley Mineral Sands’ Derby based employees, contractors and ancillary staff to and from the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project.

Kerrissa O’Meara from Kingsound Transport and Charters, who is a Joombarn-buru Traditional Owner, said she was really pleased to win the contract which would enable her business to grow.

“This long-term contract is a great opportunity and will enable me to lease my own vehicle so I can grow my company and provide transport services to other local businesses and communities,” she said.

Click here to read the full media release.

Photo: KMS Community Team member Johari with Kerrissa onsite at Thunderbird.

First rotainers roll into Broome

In another exciting development, the first rotainers of product are also being loaded on site and are starting to be regularly transported to Broome for storage in preparation for the first bulk shipments to our joint venture partner Yansteel and other global customers.

Don’t forget that our Main Roads permit for the PBS 60m quad road trains has speed restrictions of 40km/h on Gubinge Road between the Tanami Drive and Magabala Road intersections, and 60km/h from Magabala Road through to Gantheaume Point Road.

Over the next month there will be multiple trips per day. Please be patient, don’t overtake a truck on a roundabout and remember to give turning trucks plenty of room. Keep an eye out for more road safety tips coming soon!

Photo: One of Campbell Transport’s brand new PBS 60m road trains.

Recruitment Update

We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

Maintainer - Electrical (Closing Sunday 4 February)

Senior Mining Engineer (Closing Sunday 11 February)

Mechanical Engineer (Closing Sunday 11 February)

Loader Operators - Casual (Closing Saturday 17 February)

Supervisor Maintenance (Closing Sunday 18 February)

Superintendent Tailings (Closing Sunday 18 February)

Please apply via the online links. If you have any queries, please contact our People team via

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