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#Risks
Last edited 2 months ago

Probably a project with big potential only let down by the quality of the offtakes and the JV. Although the  attractiveness and size of their Thunderbird mineral sands project can't be ignored, I can't help but think about the capital cost and the trade-offs Sheffield has made or are making to get the project moving forward.

Looking at the last investment slide and the latest offtake announcement here are my thoughts:

Positives:

  1. Long mine life of over 42 years
  2. NPV of over $900M+ and IRR 30% pre-tax
  3. Scope for resource expansion through exploration
  4. Additional 3 Offtakes signed just recently.
  5. 50% JV Partnership with Yansteel providing $130m of project funding with offtake aggreement.

Negatives:

  1. Capital cost of $392 million although it is partly funded by the JV
  2. Seems Yansteel is the big beneficiary at the cost of Sheffield. Yansteel also is based in China
  3. Offtake partners questionable (not big reputable companies in China - the names are missing from the latest announcement).
  4. Finding it hard to attract big name offtake partners for 25% of Stage 1.
  5. Project finance could be a challenge due to the quality of the offtake agreements
  6. Seems like timelines to FID (final investment decision) are being pushed out from end of this year to middle to late next year.

I suppose the negatives are too hard to ignore and it was a "sell the news" event on the recent offtake announcement.

At the end of the day, what really counts is the quality of the offtake agreements as that will attract financing.

The big challenge now is securing a better offtake with a reputable customer for the remaining share of the project which would derisk the project significantly.

I have no intention of downramping this for any holders out there but just trying to highlight the risks.

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