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Thunderbird mining site receives $484m in funding

Thunderbird Operations and Kimberley Mineral Sands have engaged the services of global law firm Ashurst to secure $484 million in project financing.

user iconKeonia Swift 20 October 2022 Big Law
Thunderbird mining site receives $484m in funding
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Firm: Ashurst (Thunderbird Operations)

Deal: Global law firm Ashurst has advised Thunderbird Operations on project financing for one of the largest mineral sands deposits sites.

Value: $484 million


Area: Corporate 

Key players: The Ashurst team was led by partner Gaelan Cooney, with support from Ashurst’s international projects group, global markets, planning, access and environment, tax, IP/media, dispute resolution, corporate transactions, transport and infrastructure, high-yield debt in London, international projects group in London and dispute resolution in Hong Kong.

Deal significance: The project was financed by a $160 million secured term loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, a $175 million Loan Note Subscription Agreement with Orion, and a 25-year royalty tied to the project’s production. 

The Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project is currently fully funded till production commences. More than 40 per cent of construction is complete, and the first shipment is anticipated in the first quarter of 2024.

The project, located in the north of Western Australia, is one of the largest and highest-grade mineral sands discoveries of the past three decades, and it will produce a range of high-quality mineral sands concentrate products to meet market demands. 

Products include a zircon concentrate and a magnetic concentrate containing high-quality ilmenite suitable for smelting into chloride slag or the production of titanium dioxide pigment.