Diatreme’s project is situated near the world’s largest silica sands mine at Cape Flattery mined by Mitsubishi Corporation, and is favourably positioned to access growing markets for silica sand in Asia.
The silica sand market is expected to reach nearly US$10 billion in revenues by 2022, amid growth from both developed and emerging markets.
Samples meet specifications for glass-grade silica sand
The Cape Bedford project is located circa 200 kilometres north of Cairns and is situated within a large sand dune field, part of which is currently being mined by Mitsubishi Corporation.
During October 2017, 26 holes were drilled along cleared access tracks over a dune complex near Nob Point, for a total of 670 metres.
Subsequently, bulk samples of circa 100 kilograms each from six separate drill holes were submitted for preliminary metallurgical test work.
Significantly, Diatreme achieved 80% recovery of a primary silica sand product ranging from 99.6% to 99.9% silicon dioxide with less than 0.02% iron, easily meeting the specifications for glass-grade silica sand.
Rising demand from the construction and automotive markets
High-grade silica is used in glass manufacture, foundry casting, electronics, ceramics and construction – industries which are growing rapidly in Asia.
As one of the major consumers of high purity silica, the global glass market has recently realised significant growth due to increased demand from the construction and automotive markets.
Based on the results from drilling and initial metallurgical test work, Diatreme has a promising exploration target of 15 to 20 million tonnes of high-quality silica sand for the Nob Point dune area.