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Silica sands get the go-ahead, survey says  


VRX Silica has completed archaeological and ethnographic surveys at its Arrow Smith silica sands projects in Western Australia to finalise Aboriginal heritage approvals. 

Initial findings from the surveys indicated that the local First Nations group Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation (YSRC) would allow long-term mining and infrastructure construction to proceed at Arrowsmith, 270 kilometres north of Perth. 

The proposed areas cover 360ha (Arrowsmith North) and 485ha (Arrowsmith Central) with up to 30 years and 20 years of mining, respectively. 

Arrowsmith North is presumed to contain 223 million tonnes of silica sand for use in flat glass, container glass and foundry sand. 

Arrowsmith Central has a probable ore reserve of 18.9 million tonnes of silica sand for use in flat glass and container glass. 

VRX managing director Bruce Maluish said it was important for the company to tick off these checkpoints in Aboriginal heritage management. 

“Finalising the Aboriginal heritage clearance for our proposed works on both Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central is an important step forward in the development of our silica sands projects,” Maluish said. 

“It also continues our strong and supportive relationship and consultative approach with the local Yamatji Nation. 

“We appreciate their efforts in progressing the conduct of surveys and reports and look forward to continuing to work closely with them as we progress project development.” 

VRX had its mining leases approved for both projects in November 2020, before January 2021 saw the company tendering for an offtake partner which it secured in November 2021. 

VRX will supply Korean foundry Dong A Heung Eop Mining with 200,000 tonnes of silica sand per year for four years. 

More reading 

VRX Silica closes in on offtake partner 

VRX Silica locks in silica sand mining leases 

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