Interest in high quality silica sands has been steadily growing as awareness grows about the strong demand for the commodity for use in the glass-making – especially ultra-clear glass used in high-tech applications such as solar panels, fibre-optics, LCD panels and LED lights.

Fresh from defining a maiden resource of 12.85 million tonnes at 99.28 per cent silica at its Cape Flattery project in Queensland, Metallica Minerals (ASX:MLM) has now kicked off its maiden drilling that will give it a more extensive and deeper look into what it has.

This comes after the company secured approval for drilling from traditional owners.

Cape Flattery is located right next to Mitsubishi’s world class silica sand mine – also known as Cape Flattery, putting it in close proximity to existing infrastructure including port facilities for sand export.

Metallica’s drilling comes a day after Perpetual Resources (ASX:PEC) reported that aircore drilling to extend existing silica sand resources at its Beharra project in Western Australia returned some of the best results to date.

Multiple drill holes encountered high-grade intervals from surface over thicker intervals than the average intersected in the southern portion of the project.

Top hits are 11.5m at 98.9 per cent silica, 13.5m at 98.8 per cent silica and 9.5m at 98.9 per cent silica.

Perpetual expects to use results from this drilling to update its current resource of 113Mt at 98.6 per cent silica in January 2021.

A pre-feasibility study is also currently underway.

MLM and PEC share price charts


Silica sands leader?

While these companies are making good progress on their projects, it’s VRX Silica (ASX:VRX) that appears to be taking the lead.

The company, which recently raised $7m to advance development of its projects, already has mining leases in place for its Muchea and Arrowsmith projects, combined resources exceeding 1 billion tonnes of plus 99.6 per cent silica sand and expressions of interest from multiple sources.

Indeed, its Arrowsmith leases have enough sand for over 100 years of production.

Bankable feasibility studies have already outlined some very attractive numbers and the company could become a silica sand producer in 2021.

VRX Silica (ASX:VRX) share price chart


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