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How far has VRX Silica progressed across its three silica sand projects?

Image Source: Company Announcement (30 June 2022)

Highlights

  • VRX Silica is developing its three high-value silica sand projects in Western Australia.
  • The Company expects the first production from Arrowsmith North to commence in mid-2023.
  • VRX Silica’s Muchea project holds the potential to supply raw material for superior ultra-clear cover glass production for solar panels.

Western Australia-based, pure-play silica sand mining company VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) has been making great strides in the development of its high-grade projects. The Company holds three large-scale, high-quality, and low-impurity silica sand projects – Muchea, Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central. Each of the Company’s projects can be run independently and supply raw material to various markets.

Interestingly, VRX Silica has the most advanced non-private projects in Australia, with planning, heritage & environmental studies having been initiated in 2017. Mining Leases have been granted over all these three projects, with permitting and infrastructure preparations well in progress.

Against this backdrop, let us discuss the current state of the Company’s three silica sand projects:

Arrowsmith North

Arrowsmith North is a near-term development opportunity for VRX Silica, which is expected to lead the staggered/disciplined development of its world-class assets. The project has access to established infrastructure, including an unused rail line that runs adjacent to project tenements, access by adjacent Brand Highway, water from Yarragadee North deep aquifer and hybrid gas and solar power supply.

The Probable Ore Reserve for Arrowsmith North project totals 223Mt @99.7% SiO2 (100-year production!). A revised capital estimate is currently in progress on a tailored 2Mtpa processing plant, with an exclusive patented process circuit, revised capital estimate and DFS underway.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) approved the ESD (Environmental Scoping Document) for proposed mining activities at Arrowsmith North in March 2022. The mining proposal for the DMIRS (Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety)  has been drafted, with lodgement subject to receipt of comments on ESD.

The Company expects the production of Arrowsmith North to commence in mid-2023 (subject to final environmental approvals).

Arrowsmith Central

VRX Silica’s Arrowsmith Central has proceeded to the next phase of the environmental approval process with the EPA. Consistent with the EPA’s approach at Arrowsmith North and the silica sand explorer’s expectations for Arrowsmith Central, the EPA will evaluate the proposal at a PER (Public Environmental Review) level of assessment.

An ESD was lodged on 29 June 2022, which details the environmental studies that are necessary to inform the assessment of the Arrowsmith Central project. The Environmental Review Document (ERD) has also been prepared and will be lodged on ESD approval.

Muchea

Muchea is VRX Silica’s world-class, large-scale, high-grade, and low-impurity silica sand project. The project has access to established infrastructure, including grid power, an underutilised railway connecting to Kwinana (100km), access by adjacent Brand Highway and water from Yaragadee deep aquifer.

Tests on the final product from Muchea have demonstrated +99.9% SiO2 and Ë‚100ppm Fe2O3. Notably, the project holds the potential to supply raw material for superior ultra-clear cover glass production for solar panels. The Company expects the production of the Muchea project to follow Arrowsmith North, subject to EPA approval.

VRX Silica shares closed the trading session at A$0.150, with a rise of over 7%.


 


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