VRX starts environmental approval process for second silica sand project
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VRX is progressing its second silica sands project at Arrowsmith, Western Australia with the lodgement of a Environmental Protection Authority referral document.
The EPA’s Statement of Environmental Principles, Factors and Objectives provides a list of potential key environmental factors to consider for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
VRX Silica’s (ASX:VRX) referral and supporting information document for the Arrowsmith Central project identifies the relevant baseline environmental information for receiving environment, proposal activities, mitigation measures, impacts and underlying assumptions.
The EPA now has 28 days to determine whether to assess the referred proposal and, if so, what level of assessment to assign.
“This referral to the EPA commences the process for environmental approval for VRX Silica’s Arrowsmith Central Silica Sand Project, which is our second silica sand project at Arrowsmith. This will determine the level of assessment required for project approval,” managing director Bruce Maluish said.
“Based on our environmental approval work to-date and continued consultation with the EPA, we have identified what studies are likely to be required and, to the extent not already undertaken, are underway as part of this Spring field season.
“These studies will provide relevant information for the Environmental Impact Assessment for this project.”
The company is currently awaiting environmental approval for its advanced Arrowsmith North silica sand project.
While lagging behind the company’s Arrowsmith North project, Arrowsmith Central is very much an attractive silica sand project on its own merits.
The project has a current resource of about 76.5 million tonnes grading 96.8% silicon dioxide that includes an ore reserve of 18.9Mt at 99.6% SiO2.
It is the subject of a bankable feasibility study completed in September 2019 that estimates net present value and internal rate of return, both measures of a project’s anticipated profitability, of $147.6m and 60% respectively.
Capex is estimated at just $25.9m with payback of 2.8 years while sales are expected to be just under $2.2bn.
Arrowsmith Central is close to existing rail infrastructure and will use a straightforward mining technique that preserves topsoil, making rehabilitation results better than any other method.
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.