The MLA70/1392 application includes 96% of the resource of 28 million tonnes at 97.7% silica.
Inventory of more than 400 million tonnes
VRX Silica managing director Bruce Maluish said: “This application for a mining lease at Arrowsmith Central is another extensive application of 1,900 hectares and substantially covers the previously identified mineral resource.
“The combined mining lease applications over the company’s Arrowsmith and Muchea silica sand projects now amount to 6,456 hectares with a significant inventory of over 400 million tonnes of silica sand at an average 98.7% silica.
“We expect to increase this with planned drilling deeper than the hand-auger sampling previously undertaken to estimate the resources.”
The Arrowsmith Silica Sand Project comprises four granted exploration licences with one exploration licence and three mining lease applications pending.
Initial test work has confirmed that silica sand can be upgraded to glassmaking quality and further work is underway to enable feasibility studies to be completed.
Maluish added: “Drilling on all three mining lease application areas is planned to be undertaken in this March quarter and is expected to increase the confidence and JORC resource status at each project.”
This is the last of the three mining lease applications that the company is planning to lodge this year to complete its silica sand project applications.
A program of works for infill aircore drilling has been approved by DMIRS, and the Aboriginal Heritage and Ethnographic Survey has been completed over the drill program area.
Maluish concluded: “Environmental baseline surveys have been completed over the application area to support an application for a mining permit this March quarter.”
The mineral sand explorer also acquired the Boyatup Silica Sand Project, 100 kilometres east of Esperance earlier this month with a first pass drill program designed to determine the final sand quality.
A preferred process circuit design and supply potential product samples will also be forwarded to interested buyers.
VRX Silica 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.
- Jessica Cummins