- VRX Silica completed the drilling of test water holes at its Arrowsmith Central Project.
- Two water production holes will be drilled on the project to provide water for the processing plant.
- Test holes are targeting two aquifers located at a depth of 30m and 120m.
VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX), the Western Australia-based pure-play silica player, has successfully drill-tested and completed test water holes at the Arrowsmith Central Silica Sand Project. It is being considered as a step in the right direction as the company aims to bring the project to production.
Image source: © 2022 Kalkine Media® Data source: VRX update, 6 September 2022
VRX operates four world-class silica sand projects in WA; Arrowsmith North, Arrowsmith Central, Muchea and Boyatup. The company is planning the first production from the Arrowsmith Project by mid-2023. VRX has already signed an initial off-take term sheet for supply to the South Korean foundry industry. The company is also seeing strong interest from other potential customers in SE Asia.
Project location map (Image source: VRX update, 6 September 2022)
The Asia-Pacific region is a major hub for glassmaking, including solar panels and high-tech glass. The region is currently experiencing a shortfall in supply and increasing demand. Silica sand is a finite resource and is exhausting rapidly.
Infrastructure is another sector where sand is used extensively as the main ingredient in concrete. Several Asia-Pacific countries are facing shortages as regulatory norms make it difficult to mine this essential commodity.
The Arrowsmith North Project is expected to start production by mid-2023. The project has a life of mine of over 100 years with an Ore Reserve of 223Mt. The company is currently undertaking a Definitive Feasibility Study on the project.
For the processing of the mined material, VRX is working on 2Mtpa, a specially tailored processing plant with a patented process circuit.
Test holes were drilled, targeting two potential aquifers located at a depth of 30m and 120m. The geological and geophysical logging of the holes indicates a significant potential for high flows of good-quality groundwater. Also, VRX believes that both the aquifers are not connected with the superficial water table.
VRX is taking the services of a licensed water bore driller. The drilling was undertaken after VRX secured a Licence to Construct or Alter a Well from the Department of Water and Environment Regulations (DWER).
VRX had applied for the allocation of 900,000 Kl of water, and it has been accepted by the DWER. The company will require another licence – 5C to pump out and utilise water, which the company will apply for once bores are constructed.
Location map of water holes on the project (Image source: VRX update, 6 September 2022)