- VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) is all set to kick-start a 130-hole grade control drill program in late March 2021 at the Arrowsmith North project.
- The assay results of the drill program are expected to be released in late May 2021.
- The drilling program is likely to upgrade the MRE in the area drilled to a Proven Reserve and Measured Resource.
Marking a great leap forward, VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) will commence a 130-hole grade control drill program later this month at its Arrowsmith North Silica Sand Project. VRX Silica’s Arrowsmith North project is situated around 270km north of Perth between the regional Western Australian towns of Dongara and Eneabba.
The 130-hole grade control drill program is anticipated to take 10 days, with assay results expected to follow in late May 2021. The grade control area is present wholly within the earlier reported MRE or Mineral Resource Estimate of 771 Mt @ 98% SiO2. Besides, the grade control area represents about 11.3Mt of inferred and indicated resource.
Significance of Drill Program
The close-spaced drilling program is expected to upgrade the total MRE in the area drilled to a Proven Reserve and Measured Resource. The Company is targeting a conversion of 10-12 million tonnes to Proven Reserve. Moreover, the drilling campaign is anticipated to confirm the homogeneity and continuity that has been shown by prior drilling.
As per VRX Silica, the drilling will generate a substantial tonnage of additional feedstock for the Company to carry out supplementary metallurgical test work to refine the design as well as operating parameters of the process plant. Furthermore, it will be used to ensure the Company holds approvals needed by the Mid West Ports Authority for shipping silica sand under its environmental licence with the Western Australian Department of Water and Environment Regulation.
Notably, the drilling will also create an additional commercial sample to be despatched to prospective offtake partners amid continuing growth in demand for VRX Silica’s silica sand.
Strong Demand for Silica Sand
VRX Silica highlighted that sources of supply of high-grade silica sand across the Asian region are diminishing at a rapid rate. The shrinking supply has bolstered potential customers’ interest in the Company’s silica sand, who are well aware of the supply crisis.
Moreover, the demand for silica sand is expected to rise over the coming years amid growth in the foundry and glass industry.
As per the Company, the developing countries in the APAC region are likely to experience significant infrastructural spending, stimulating demand for glass. Besides, the foundry industry also represents a key growth market for silica sand over the coming years. The foundry industry in Asia has grown as automotive demand has increased, and countries have gained manufacturing specialisation.
VRX Silica believes that it is well-positioned to fill the demand for silica sand as it develops its significant projects. The Company remains focussed on forming long term offtake partnerships with major participants in the Asian market.
VRX Silica shares traded at A$0.275 on 11 March 2021.