Silica Sand

About silica sand

Silica sand is the world’s second most consumed resource after water, and it is running out. As the primary ingredient for all glass and concrete, silica sand is the foundational ingredient of the modern city.

Silica sand also has a crucial role to play in the global decarbonisation effort. High purity silica sand with a low iron content is needed for the high-tech flat glass used in solar panels and smart screen technology. The increased uptake of solar panels in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to drive exponential growth in demand for ultra-clear glass over the coming decades.

The UN estimates that the world currently uses 50 billion tonnes of silica sand every year. There is a global shortfall of supply and, as the developing world continues to urbanise, demand is forecast to grow significantly year on year.

Not all sand is equal

High-quality silica sand is clean, well-sorted quartz sand – developed from millions of years of granite weathering.

To meet the requirements of modern industry, high-grade silica sand must contain a concentration of silica of more than 99.5% SiO2. VRX’s Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central projects exceed this purity requirement at 99.7% SiO2 and 99.6% SiO2 purity, respectively.

The lucrative market for high-tech glass used in solar panels and smartphones requires ultra-high 99.9% purity silica sand. Muchea is one of a handful of world-class silica sand projects with an outstanding grade of +99.9% SiO2 and, most importantly, low

impurities and less than 100ppm Fe2O3.

The many other uses of sand include:

  • The foundry industry, where it is used in casting engine blocks and small domestic items such as sink faucets
  • Ceramics
  • Paint and coatings
  • Metallurgical uses
  • Chemical production
  • Oil and gas recovery
  • Filtration and water production
  • Construction sand

The opportunity for VRX Silica

VRX Silica’s five high-quality silica sand projects – the Arrowsmith North, Brand Silica and Central Silica Sand Projects, located 270km north of Perth, the Muchea Silica Sand Project 50km north of Perth, and the Boyatup Silica Sand Project, 100km east of Esperance are all located in the Tier 1 mining destination of Western Australia and have the potential to supply responsibly sourced, high-grade silica sand for more than 100 years.

The company’s silica sand deposits sit on granted Mining Leases with secure tenure and a combined Mineral Resource of more than 1 billion tonnes of 99.6%-99.9% SiO2 grade silica sand. Bankable feasibility studies evaluations show that the three projects all have an initial mine life of 25 years of economic production.

Project Locations

VRX Silica is developing its portfolio of high-quality silica sand projects the Arrowsmith North Silica Sand Project, Arrowsmith Brand Silica Sand Project and Arrowsmith Central Silica Sand Project, located 270km north of Perth, the Muchea Silica Sand Project, 50km north of Perth, and the Boyatup Silica Sand Project, 100km east of Esperance all located in Western Australia.

VRX has completed bankable feasibility studies on the Arrowsmith North, Arrowsmith Central and Muchea projects that all support 25 years of economic production, with the potential to produce high-quality silica sand for more than 100 years.

The projects also benefit from adjacent rail lines connecting to ports in Geraldton (Arrowsmith) and Kwinana (Muchea), and by road to the port at Esperance (Boyatup).

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