Metallica Minerals have announced a significant 298 per cent increase to its resources at the Cape Flattery silica sand project in far north Queensland.
The increase brought the inferred resource to 38.3 Mt, and boosted Metallica Minerals’ confidence in the project with an initial indicated resource of 5.4 Mt.
Metallica executive chairman Theo Psaros said the development was a big win for the project.
“We are delighted to announce a major upgrade for the high purity silica sand resource at our Cape Flattery project,” Psaros said.
“This resource will provide a solid basis for future exploration that will target expansion of the Eastern Resource Area and increase confidence in the resource to compliment the metallurgical studies that are underway.”
The quality of sand is a high-grade silica resource at more than 98.5 per cent silica and can be used for flooring, mortars, cement and asphalt among other products.
Psaros said the discovery will do well to please such markets as demand increases.
“This is a significant step towards advancing the development of our high quality silica sand project to contribute supply for the growing global demand for premium quality silica,” he said.
Australia was the fifth largest exporter of silica sand as of December 2020, with much of its exports going to China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Murray Lines, the director of Stratum Resources, which is Metallica’s independent expert consultant, said Australia was lucky to have such a resource on its shores.
“Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region for silica sand” Lines said. “As is the case for a lot of minerals, between a third and half of all minerals used worldwide is produced and consumed in the Asia Pacific. Australia is in a fortunate geographic location where the demand for silica sand continues to increase.”
Over the previous year, Metallica have implemented several techniques to draw the desired resource, from field work, 5m deep hand augers, and most recently vacuum drilling.