Approximately 10,000t of zircon has been shipped from the Port of Broome, marking the first bulk shipment of mineral sands from the port.

The shipment contains zircon mineral sands concentrate from Kimberley Mineral Sands’ Thunderbird project in the West Kimberley and departed the Port of Broome onboard the MV Pacific Fortune, bound for KMS’ international offtake partners.

Kimberley Mineral Sands’ Chief Operating Officer, Michael Rose, said the landmark moment marked a significant achievement for Thunderbird and was the culmination of many years of hard work, planning and investment.

“Thanks to the support of our joint venture partners, the local community, government and investors; today we celebrated the inaugural export of bulk mineral sands from Broome.”

Mr Rose said the company was looking forward to further contributing to the local and West Australian economy for many years to come, cementing Kimberley Mineral Sands’ position as a key player in the global mineral sands market.

It’s estimated that Thunderbird will produce 6.5 per cent of global zircon supply and 3.5 per cent of global ilmenite over the 36 year life of the mine.

Zircon is used primarily in the manufacture of everyday ceramics, including tiles, bathrooms and kitchen crockery. It is also used in a range of production processes in refractories and foundry casting, as well as catalytic fuel converters, and air and water purification systems.

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