Allup Silica has launched an exploration target of 5-7 million tons containing 98-99% silica at the Sparkler C sand project in WA’s Great Southern region.
The freshly minted JORC-compliant exploration target follows a recent hand auger sampling program in which approximately 30 holes were plugged to a depth of 2.4 m, resulting in average iron oxide readings as high as 99.7 percent per 2094 parts. Returns the grade. a million. Preliminary results indicate a potential 99.5 percent silica, sub-100 ppm iron oxide product.
Allup is now preparing to roll in an air-core drill rig to continue exploring the range of silica-rich sand layers expected at Sparkler C, and to extract bulk samples for further metallurgical testing. is in view. The company’s Sparkler C exploration target weighs in on the nearby Sparkler A placer deposit, which contains an estimated 70 million tonnes of mineral resources at 96.84% silicon dioxide.
Improvements to Arup’s silica sand treatment, particularly the incorporation of flotation into the process, have reduced iron oxide impurity levels to an average of 84ppm and increased silica levels from 99.7% to 99.8%. His Sparkler projects for the company consist of his three exploration licenses, his Sparkler A, B and C, on private land halfway between Bunbury and Albany.
Silica sand is used in the manufacture and casting of glass and ceramics. High-quality silica is a central component of semiconductors used in electronics and computer processors, and is a key component in fiber optics, premium ceramics and tablets, mobile phones, and photovoltaic (PV) markets.
Impurities in silica sand, especially iron oxide, can impair the transmission of optical fibers and reduce the transparency of glass. This means that Allup’s less than 100ppm iron oxide reading is key to selling products to solar panel manufacturers.
As a country blessed with abundant sunshine, the solar PV market in Australia is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20% from 2022 to 2027. More than 360,000 rooftop PV systems will be installed in Australian homes in 2021, according to Mordor Intelligence. This is a significant increase of 40% over the previous year.
Sustainable and ethical supply is becoming more of an issue as demand for high-purity silica sand increases and illegal sand mining increases.
Australia last year added silicon to its list of strategically important minerals, recognizing its increasing importance in the green energy revolution. Under the government-backed Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative, the $2 billion kitty will be used by companies to fund a pipeline of high-quality critical minerals projects, including silica, to fund production make it possible.
Arup is in a world of declining ethical supplies, with estimates of one sizable mineral resource already defined in Sparkler A, and another exploration target outlined in nearby Sparkler C. We are poised to ride the wave of growing demand for silica sand in the market.
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