The Allup Silica Project currently consists of four exploration licenses, some still in application (as at January 2021), but all being located in the Great Southern regional Shires of Manjimup and Cranbrook, Western Australia. Specifically, the projects are situated north of Walpole and south-east of Manjimup.
Future Mining Operations
Currently, each exploration license affords the Company an opportunity to evaluate the most likely commercial opportunity for potential economic mining operations. This will be based on a combination of yet to be determined factors, including exploration results relating to resource reserves, grades and marketable specifications, various commercial outcomes relating to approvals, economics and logistics, offtake and sale of product, and the ability to raise future capital.
Today, the Company is at the minerals’ exploration and project investigation stage, which is well off the requirements of an operating mining operation. However, it believes that this project has potential, and as such has mapped out a pathway to enable the necessary exploration and investigation to take place.
Throughout this website, the Company provides its current thinking around the factors required to achieve an operating silica mining operation.
Nameplate operating production targets are estimated at 1,000,000 tonnes per annum with a post processing recoverable production of 750,000 tonnes per annum. However, given the Company’s dual port strategy (Ports of Bunbury and Albany), being subject to the availability of port capacity at the time, it may be possible to increase operating production substantially to the 2m – 4m range.
The sands, once extracted go through a beneficiation process to increase the silica content and reduce the impurities and contaminants. The result is an improved product, in a final form commercially suited to the glass, ceramics and foundry industries.
Drilling and sampling will determine the initial product grades, and further testing using the beneficiation process will identify an indicative assessment of the output product. Initial grade results are typically lower than the finished product grades after the completion of the beneficiation process. Publicly available information shows that the initial grade results of 98% SiO2 can end up being higher than 99.6% after this process.
Commercial Grade Silica Sand
After beneficiation, the output product would need to meet this range of specifications:
|Parameter||Specification Photovoltaic Glass||Specification Container Glass|
|Particle Size||109-700 microns||109-700 microns|
|Distribution||24-140 mesh||24-140 mesh|
|Silica (SiO2)||> 99.5%||> 98.5%|
|Iron (Fe2O3)||< 0.01% (100 ppm)||< 0.04% (400 ppm)|
|Titanium (TiO2)||< 0.04% (400 ppm)||< 0.1% (1000 ppm)|
|Aluminium (Al2O3)||< 0.10% (1000 ppm)||< 0.50% (5000 ppm)|