Silica sand player VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) has attained a remarkable milestone in the development of its Muchea Silica Sand Project, with its wholly-owned subsidiary and holder of the project, Wisecat Pty Ltd signing a Native Title Mining Project Agreement for the project.
Muchea Silica Sand Project is VRX Silica’s world class high-grade silica sand project that has demonstrated outstanding financial metrics in its Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS). The project is well located to key port and rail infrastructure, and holds significant potential to produce superior quality products.
With a potential 100+ years of mine life, the project’s JORC Resource and Probable Ore Reserve total 208Mt @ 99.6% SiO2 and 18.7Mt @ 99.9% SiO2, respectively.
Key Details of the Agreement
VRX Silica has signed the agreement with the authorised representatives of the Whadjuk People Native Title Claim Group - the Whadjuk People Native Title Claim Applicants under Application WAD242/2011, and the South West Aboriginal Land & Sea Council Aboriginal Corporation (SWALSC) in its capacity as representative for the Whadjuk People.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Whadjuk People have given their consent for the following:
- Conduct of silica sand mining operations at the Muchea Project; and
- Grant of the Mining Lease and the Miscellaneous Licences for the project within the Native Title claim area.
The Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Wisecat has begun the formal process with the National Native Title Tribunal, needed for the grant of the Mining Lease for the Muchea Project by the Minister for Mines.
Agreement Sets Out Shared Long-Term Objectives
The formal Native Title Mining Project Agreement signed for the project sets out some shared long-term objectives for the parties involved and numerous measures designed to achieve those objectives over the term of the Agreement.
These objectives and measures include:
- The promotion of awareness of the Whadjuk People’s traditional customs and laws;
- The management and preservation of Aboriginal heritage within the Mining Lease area wherever possible in accordance with an agreed Heritage Protocol;
- The facilitation of cross-cultural exchange between the members of the Whadjuk People and Wisecat and its employees and contractors;
- Assuring the environmental implication of agreed mining operations is managed in line with appropriate statutory obligations;
- Maximising contracting and employment opportunities for Whadjuk People contractors with regard to agreed mining operations; and
- The provision of agreed initial and continuing compensation to the Whadjuk People for the consequences on Native Title arising from:
- the conduct of mining operations,
- the grant of the Mining Lease and Miscellaneous Licences within the Native Title claim area, and
- the issue of agreed project approvals.
The Company mentioned that the agreement also contains provisions with regard to warranties, force majeure, confidentiality and dispute resolution procedures.
VRX Allotted and Issued ~24 Million Shares
The Company also notified in an ASX update that it has allotted and issued about 24 million options at an issue price of 18 cents expiring on 31 July 2021 to subscribe for VRX shares. The Company has issued the options in connection with the placement conducted in November 2019 of VRX shares.
In an update on 4th November 2019, the Company announced a placement of securities to a range of sophisticated and institutional investors for raising a capital of $4 million. Moreover, the Company mentioned the participants in the placement will be issued one option for every two shares subscribed for in the placement.
The Company has now issued those options to participants in the placement. The Company has also applied for quotation of the options on the ASX under code “VRXO”, and the trading is likely to become available on the ASX on 3rd February 2020 during the course of day.
The Company will use the funds raised under the placement to fast-track the development of its advanced silica sand projects, including Muchea Project.
In a nutshell, VRX Silica is committed to meet the global demand for silica sand via its advanced silica sand projects. Moreover, the Company’s projects are well-positioned to supply high grade silica sand products in the international market, backed by their outstanding economics and robust logistics support.
VRX settled the day’s trading at $0.115 on 3rd February 2020, with a significant rise of 4.55 per cent.