VRX Silica has been granted mining leases for its Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central silica sand projects in Western Australia.
The combined 3600ha lease area will support more than 100 years of production due to the high estimates of ore reserves.
Arrowsmith North contains a probable ore reserve of 204 million tonnes (Mt) at 99.7 per cent silica, and Arrowsmith Central has an ore reserve of 18.7Mt at 99.6 per cent silica probable ore reserve.
Combined with VRX’s existing Muchea silica sand project, the combined post-tax value of the projects is $727.8 million.
VRX managing director Bruce Maluish said the mining leases mark a new milestone for the company.
“The grant of mining leases for our Arrowsmith silica sand projects is another significant milestone for VRX Silica, hot off the heels of the mining lease granted for our Muchea silica sand project.
“As for Muchea, there is strong demand for Arrowsmith sand and we will now look to finalise sales contracts for high quality silica sand products and secure the necessary funding for the development of these projects.
“All three projects have outstanding economic prospects and will support a substantial export industry in Western Australia, providing significant financial and employment benefits to the state.
“With all three mining leases granted and development of our projects on-track, VRX Silica is truly a global player in high quality silica sand supplies.”
Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central are positioned 270km north of Perth.
According to VRX, the silica sand the sites will produce is suitable for the glass making and foundry sand industries.
VRX is targeting 47.7Mt from the first 25 years of Arrowsmith North’s mine life.
It has submitted a formal referral to the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and has confirmed it will follow with referral to the State Environmental Protection authority to seek approval for development of Arrowsmith North.
VRX is also aiming to submit formal referrals to the aforementioned departments for Arrowsmith Central.