Special Report: VRX now has a clear path towards becoming a silica sand producer in 2021 after securing the mining leases for its Arrowsmith projects in Western Australia.

The milestone award of leases for Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central comes less than two weeks after the company secured the key Aboriginal Heritage clearance earlier this month.

High-purity silica sand such as those contained within the Arrowsmith projects is in high demand for making both flat glass and container glass and VRX Silica (ASX:VRX) has already received expressions of interest from multiple groups.

The Arrowsmith leases cover over 3,600 hectares and host enough silica sand for over 100 years of production.

Managing director Bruce Maluish says the grant of leases for the Arrowsmith projects is another milestone that comes “hot on the heels” of the mining lease grant for its Muchea silica sand project.

“As for Muchea, there is strong demand for Arrowsmith sand and we will now look to finalise sales contracts for high-quality silica sand products and secure the necessary funding for the development of these projects,” he added.

“All three projects have outstanding economic prospects and will support a substantial export industry in Western Australia providing significant financial and employment benefits to the state.

“With all three mining leases granted and development of our projects on-track, VRX Silica is truly a global player in high-quality silica sand supplies.”

Location and plan of the Arrowsmith Silica Sand Projects
Location and plan of the Arrowsmith Silica Sand Projects. Pic: Supplied

On the road to silica sand production

VRX has previously flagged that Arrowsmith North is likely to be the first project to be developed as its environmental and mining approvals are expected to be granted before the end of this year.

Silica sand from the project is readily amenable to upgrading by conventional washing and screening methods to produce a high-purity silica sand product with high mass recoveries.

The resulting products are expected to be suitable for industries such as glass making and foundry sand.

Arrowsmith North has estimated net present value and internal rate of return – both measures of a project’s anticipated profitability – of $242.3m and 77 per cent respectively.

It is expected to generate total sales of nearly $2.8bn from the mining of 53Mt of silica sand at a rate of 2Mt per annum.


This article was developed in collaboration with VRX Silica, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions