THE DRILL SERGEANT: VRX Silica (ASX: VRX) completed drilling at the company’s Muchea silica sand project north of Perth in Western Australia that has led to an upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate.
VRX Silica announced the JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate for the Muchea silica sand project, which has been upgraded to 208 million tonnes at 99.6 per cent silicon dioxide (SiO2) comprising a 49 per cent increase to the JORC 2012 Indicated Resource estimate of 29 million tonnes at 99.6 per cent SiO2 and a four percent increase to the JORC 2012 Inferred Resource estimate of 179 million tonnes at 99.6 per cent SiO2.
“This drill program is over an area of 217ha, which is still only a small portion of the 2,900ha Mining Lease Application area,” VRX Silica managing director Bruce Maluish said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Testwork indicates that high-grade silica sand can be produced from Muchea for which there is strong demand for glassmaking in Asia.
“With low variability of results over the Resource area our expectation is that the majority of the Indicated Resource will convert to Probable Reserves in our impending BFS.”
The company explained the Resource estimate only includes sand three metres above the year 2000 mapped water table level and discounts the top half metre of topsoil, which will be used for rehabilitation.
VRX claims metallurgical testwork it has carried out to-date confirms its updated silica sand model to be readily amenable to upgrading by conventional washing and screening methods to produce a high-purity silica sand product with high mass recoveries.
The high-purity silica sand product specifications are expected to be suitable for industries such as the glass making and foundry industries.
VRX Silica anticipates that further testwork focusing on currently discounted sand layers may result in further reinterpretation and upgrades to the Muchea MRE.
The company indicated future drilling and estimations will include this zone of sand which is expected to add to the Resource inventory.
A more extensive Program of Work (PoW) has been lodged to enable an aircore drill program over areas that have been previously hand augered.
Drilling is planned for the September quarter 2019.