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VRX Silica eyes resource expansion for silica sand portfolio in Western Australia

Drilling to improve the JORC classification and extend the current resource will start this quarter.
project area
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VRX Silica Ltd (ASX:VRX) has two silica sand projects at Arrowsmith and Muchea in Western Australia, which contain a combined silica sand resource of 412 million tonnes.

Furthermore, VRX recently acquired the Boyatup Silica Sand Project located 100 kilometres east of the port town of Esperance from Silatec Pty Ltd.

READ: VRX Silica acquires Boyatup project to complement its substantial silica sand portfolio

In 2019, VRX intends to drill additional infill holes at each of its resource areas to increase confidence, increase the resources and supply additional samples for future bulk test work.

The drill program is expected to commence this quarter.

READ: VRX Silica posts Arrowsmith Central maiden silica resource of 28 million tonnes

In December 2018, VRX posted an independently estimated maiden mineral resource for the Arrowsmith Central prospect within its Arrowsmith Silica Sand Project.

The 28-million-tonne inferred resource grades 97.7% silica and is based on an exploration program of 39 hand-held auger drill holes in a small portion of the tenement area.

The resource area is adequate for initial mining studies and can be increased substantially with future aircore drilling.

Additional drilling is planned this year with VRX recently completing an Aboriginal Heritage survey with representatives of the Southern Yamatji claimant group for a wider-ranging drill program.

The company’s exploration program also provided a bulk sample which was used for the second and third iterations of metallurgical test work.

The testing verified the sand could be beneficiated to glass-making quality.

READ: Ventnor Resources shareholders approve name change to VRX Silica Ltd

An additional test work program is currently underway to further improve the quality of the potential final products for Muchea, Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central.

The results of this work will be followed by a process circuit design and engineering which will allow for capital cost estimates to be generated.

READ: Ventnor Resources reveals maiden JORC resource for Muchea Silica Sands Project

During the December 2018 quarter, VRX posted the maiden resource for its Muchea Silica Sand Project, 50 kilometres north of Perth.

The resource estimate was independently undertaken by CSA Global and found the deposit had a total indicated and inferred resource of 191 million tonnes at 99.6% silica.

This includes an indicated resource of 19 million tonnes at 99.7% silica.

 

VRX managing director Bruce Maluish said that “This maiden mineral resource estimate has confirmed our belief that the Muchea silica sand prospect is a world-class high-grade deposit, which can be processed to supply almost any grade sand for glassmaking in Asia.

“The company will move quickly into detailed engineering and mining studies to support mining proposals for forwarding to relevant government agencies to commence the approvals process.”

READ: VRX Silica fields interest from three Asian companies for silica sand offtake

The company has fielded indicative interest from three different distributors to annually purchase 590,000 tonnes of silica sand from the company’s two Western Australian projects.

Three non-binding letters of intent (LOI) have been received for silica sand offtake from a diverse range of silica sand distributors in the Asia-Pacific region with requirements in three different industries.

All three have long-term associations with the silica sand supply sector in the region, which is VRX Silica’s primary target market.

Maluish said that “The receipt of these three LOIs supports the company’s research that there is significant demand for silica sand products of the type capable of production from the Arrowsmith and Muchea silica sand projects.

“This is a solid foundation for the company’s initial aim of establishing demand for more than 1 million tonnes per annum from each individual project area.”

New project: Boyatup Silica Sand Project

The newly acquired Boyatup Silica Sand Project is located 100 kilometres east of the port town of Esperance and has a total area of 105.7 square kilometres.

Boyatup location

During a due diligence site visit in September 2018, VRX personnel noted the similarity to the company’s Arrowsmith and Muchea experience in that the vegetation is low banksia heath and shows pervasive sand coverage over a possible laterite layer.

A 4.5 metres hand auger hole was sampled which showed the sand to be fine and pale yellow, ending in a stronger laterite layer.

Hand auger sand

VRX’s drill program at Boyatup will test a 4,900 hectares area in the centre of the tenement and is designed to ascertain the sand coverage and gain samples for bulk test work.

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