- VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) is dedicated to operating its business to the highest standards of ESG performance.
- Last year, the Company engaged an ESG specialist to monitor, measure, and report on its sustainability progress.
- VRX Silica has devised a unique and progressive mining and rehabilitation method to reduce its environmental footprint.
Australia-based silica sand explorer VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) is committed to minimising its environmental footprint and building sustainable outcomes for all shareholders. At a time when the globe is moving towards a low-carbon future, the Company is dedicated to operating its business to the highest standards of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance.
VRX Silica is progressing with the development of its high-grade silica sand projects in Australia while delivering on its ESG responsibilities aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In mid-2021, the Company engaged an ESG specialist Futureproof Consulting to monitor, measure, and report on its sustainability progress. Futureproof helps corporations adapt to the burgeoning demands of investors and stakeholders to improve and implement their ESG strategies and reporting practices.
VRX Silica has devised a unique and progressive mining and rehabilitation method, particularly for its silica sand projects, to reduce the environmental impact of its activities. This method is known as Vegetation Direct Transfer (VDT), which lends itself to rapid and comprehensive regeneration of mined areas based on continuous rehabilitation as mining progresses.
Against this backdrop, let us take a closer look at the Company’s responsible mining plans for its silica sand projects:
Arrowsmith North project
As per VRX Silica, root structures in the loose sand are relatively shallow at 200-300mm in depth at the Arrowsmith North project. The unique VDT method removes a 400mm-deep sod with topsoil comprising the vast majority of native flora and invertebrate fauna remaining intact.
It has been stated that the Arrowsmith North project can be developed without substantial residual impacts on the environment provided the implementation of mitigation measures, especially the proposed mining and rehabilitation methodology.
The Company will produce no dust and use no chemicals while processing the mined silica sand, with efficient attritioning beneficiating the silica sand to glass-quality product for the purpose of export. Meanwhile, the Company intends to recycle a major proportion of water utilised in processing, with preliminary engineering work targeting an up to 95 per cent recycling rate and additional investigations underway to recycle even more water.
VRX Silica has decided to conduct all mining well above the surficial water table. It is also worth mentioning that the Arrowsmith North processing plant will be ultimately powered by a hybrid gas, wind, and solar power system to minimise emissions.
At the Muchea project, the recalcitrant grasses and sedges have root systems that are approximately 200-300 mm below the surface. The low vegetation at the project is suitable for the same Vegetation Direct Transfer method that has been developed at the Arrowsmith Projects.
VRX Silica informed that the larger widely spaced Banksia trees will be propagated & tube planted to make sure the same density of trees. The Company considers the Muchea project as its world-class high-grade and low impurity silica sand project, which could provide the raw material for premium ultra-clear cover glass production for solar panels.
VRX Silica applauds the fact that expectations of corporate behaviour are shifting, with investment capital being redirected towards more responsible companies. Notably, thorough planning will allow the Company to deliver its silica sand projects sustainably and efficiently, with a very low carbon footprint.
VRX Silica shares closed the trading session at A$0.185 on 17 January 2022.