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VRX Silica fields cost estimate for processing plant at silica sand projects

The plant is designed for optimum utilisation at $18 million, with the total capital expenditure including plant feeder and water supply estimated at $25 million.
VRX Silica fields cost estimate for processing plant at silica sand projects
A bankable feasibility study for Arrowsmith and Muchea projects is expected in September

VRX Silica Ltd (ASX:VRX) has received an independent process design, engineering and cost estimate for a processing plant at its three silica sand projects north of Perth.

Processing test-work, process circuit design and engineering has been undertaken by CDE Global, a leader in the construction of sand mining wet processing plants.

The plant design incorporates features to ensure high utilisation and performance with duplicated critical pumps and variable speed drives on all pumps.

READ: VRX Silica drilling aims to increase and upgrade silica sand resources

Test work has confirmed that the plant design to produce a high purity silica sand product suitable for the glassmaking industry is the same for each of VRX’s three projects - Arrowsmith North, Arrowsmith Central and Muchea.

The Arrowsmith projects are 270 kilometres north of Perth while Muchea is just 50 kilometres north of the state capital.

CDE Global has provided the company with an $18 million estimate for a 2 million tonnes per annum processing plant, which due to its modular nature, is a detailed proposal and accurate to plus 15% in pricing.

The following table sets out a summary of this cost estimate:

Three iterations of test work have been carried out on the projects and the attritioning cycle has been demonstrated to be particularly effective in removing impurities from the quartz grains.

The company estimates costs for the plant feeder, water supply and contingency will increase the total capital cost for a processing plant to about $25 million.

Further test work is also underway to finalise the requirements for the magnetic separation component (WHIMS).

The processing plant is designed to wash, screen and attrition sand as well as remove heavy minerals to create a final product for delivery to customers.

Project timelines.

In addition to confirming the processing plant design, VRX continues to assess various options for associated production and shipping requirements at its Arrowsmith North, Arrowsmith Central and Muchea projects with a view to maximising efficiency and minimising costs.

The company intends to finalise bankable feasibility studies for all three projects in the September 2019 quarter.

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