Utilising the assay data from the August 2021 drilling program, Metallica Minerals Limited has upgraded the resource at its Cape Flattery Silica Sand Project in Far North Queensland to 53.5 million tonnes, which is an estimated 40 per cent increase. This includes a significant increase in the Indicated resource and the classification of Measured resource.
Metallica Executive Chairman, Theo Psaros said the Mining Lease Application was lodged in June of this year with confidence in the project’s potential.
“The combined Measured and Indicated components of the total resource confirms our confidence and are a major milestone as we progress the development of our high-quality silica sand project. We continue to receive positive interest from international and domestic parties for quality silica sand. This does not surprise us based on forecast growth in the global demand for premium product.”
Mr Psaros added “these results were achieved with the significant support and effort of representatives of the key clans whose shared land includes the project area. A team comprising representatives from the Dingaal Clan and Nguurruumungu Clan worked tirelessly on the drilling program.”
The area that contains the Measured resource category is where initial development is planned. This area also contains the highest silica grades and lowest iron content. Samples from the 20 holes within the Measured Resource area have been composited to produce a representative sample for metallurgical test work. The average distance from the Measured resource to the preferred location of the planned jetty is one kilometre.
The combined campaigns of vacuum drilling (120 holes) and hand auger work have confirmed that high-quality white silica sand exists with SiO2 levels greater than 98.5% and relatively low iron Fe2O3 < 0.12% present across the wider project area.
These specifications are the key attributes that offtake partners are interested in as they provide the basis for a potential marketable product.
The Resource Estimation has been undertaken in accordance with JORC 2012 guidelines and supersedes the Resource reported in March 2021. The infill and step out drilling completed in August 2021 and the observed geology supports the substantial increase in the Indicated portion of the resource and the establishment of a Measured resource component.
The Cape Flattery Silica Sands project is adjacent to the world class Cape Flattery Silica Sand mining and shipping operation owned by Mitsubishi. Exploration drilling to date has now confirmed that the sand dunes within EPM 25734 contain high purity silica sands with an in-situ quality which is understood to be comparable to Mitsubishi’s Cape Flattery Silica Mine.
On 22 June 2021 the Company released the first metallurgy test results on samples taken from the December 2020 drilling program. The bulk sample metallurgical testing confirmed high quality silica sand product and demonstrated a low contaminant product with an attractive narrow particle size distribution can be produced at a high yield.
The test work produced a product with 99.8% SiO2, 170ppm Fe2O3 and 450ppm Al2O3 and further work included successful test of process to reduce Fe2O3 from 170ppm to 70ppm Fe2O35.