Significantly, the testing has demonstrated the project’s ability to produce a premium‐grade product suitable for high‐tech applications, potentially capable of attracting premium prices.
This follows Diatreme’s earlier announcement of a maiden inferred resource for the project’s Nob Point Prospect, comprising an estimated 21.6 million tonnes at > 99% purity silica.
READ: Diatreme Resources’ maiden mineral resource confirms high-grade silica deposit at Cape Bedford
Diatreme chief executive officer Neil McIntyre said: “These results reconfirm that the project is capable of producing a premium‐grade, low iron and high purity silica sand product, meeting the requirements for high‐end glass manufacturing and capable of attracting premium prices.
“The latest data will be incorporated into the resource definition and mine development planning process currently being undertaken by independent consultants Ausrocks Pty Ltd, with Diatreme targeting an increased Mineral Resource estimate for Galalar during the current quarter.”
Meets high‐end specs
Notably, the testing showed the project is capable of meeting the exacting specifications of high‐end manufacturers/processors, including grain size being within a 30‐120 mesh size range (125‐600 micron) and iron content below 100 ppm.
This low iron level is in high demand by manufacturers as it gives the end product glass the high levels of transparency required for the production of high-efficiency photovoltaic panels, ultra‐clear glass, electrical and electronic grade silicon micro powder and other products.
The Galalar project is in close proximity to fast‐growing Asian markets, with the global silica sand market expected to reach nearly US$10 billion in annual revenues by 2022, with a compound annual average growth rate of 7.2%.
Diatreme is engaging with various regulatory and permitting agencies to design and scope the level of studies required and the permitting process, with the aim of generating a realistic project implementation timeline moving forward.
This is being undertaken concurrently with further resource definition work and engagement with potential silica product offtakers to design suitable product specifications, pricing and delivery methodology.
Meanwhile, results from Diatreme’s drilling during the latter part of 2018 are expected later this month.