VRX to define proven reserve for initial silica sand mining
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VRX continues to progress its Arrowsmith North silica sand project towards production with grade control drilling expected to start later this month.
The 130-hole program is expected to upgrade 10Mt to 12Mt of the current resource into proven reserve status, providing a high level of certainty of how much silica sand can be economically recovered.
VRX Silica (ASX:VRX) managing director Bruce Maluish says the tight grade control drilling is another key pre-production activity that the company is undertaking ahead of the commencement of mining.
“The area being grade control drilled is where we are planning to mine for the first 6-10 years,” he noted.
Drilling will generate a significant tonnage of additional raw material for VRX to conduct supplementary metallurgical test work to fine tune the design and operating parameters of the process plant and for approvals required by Mid West Ports for the shipping of silica sand.
It will also generate additional commercial samples for despatch to potential offtake partners.
“Sources of supply of quality silica sand throughout the Asian region are shrinking at a rapid rate, and this has led to tremendous interest for VRX’s silica sand from potential customers who are acutely aware of the supply problem,” Maluish added.
“We are well-positioned to fill this demand and, as we develop our silica sand projects, remain focussed on delivering long term offtake partnerships with significant participants in the Asian market.”
VRX already has mining leases for over “100 years” of production for its Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central leases.
A feasibility study for Arrowsmith North has already 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.
The project currently has an indicated and inferred resource of 771 million tonnes grading 98 per cent silica dioxide.
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.
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.