Diatreme Resources Limited has ‘confirmed’ that recent bulk sample test work at the Cape Bedford project’s Nob Point prospect is capable of producing a world-class silica sand product (99.9 per cent silicon dioxide).
The Cape Bedford project is located approximately 200 kilometres north of Cairns in Queensland, close to the world’s largest silica mine at Cape Flattery.
Bulk sampling from the project’s Nob Point Prospect also highlighted that the product could be produced at a high recovery rate of 88 per cent. Diatreme has stated that this analysis demonstrates that processing would be ‘relatively straightforward due to minimal oversize, a low level of slimes (3 per cent) and easy removal of heavy minerals on spiral separators.
Diatreme’s CEO, Neil McIntyre, said the test results provided further evidence of the potential for a valuable new silica sand mine.
“Cape Bedford is showing great promise,” he said, “Looking forward we anticipate Nob Point has the potential to come to a long-life operation, providing jobs for the local community and cash flow that will allow Diatreme to expand exploration further north and west, with the aim of identifying additional silica and heavy mineral resources.”
Mining is expected to be a simple operation due to the small amount of overburden present, which will be easily removable. The company is planning for a preliminary operation with an annual production of 300,000 to 500,000 tonnes of high-grade silica product, which is subject to further studies and discussions with pending customers.
The Cape Bedford project has the potential to supply fast-growing Asian markets with a silica product that is commonly used in high-end glass manufacturing within the automotive, construction, electronics and other sectors. Due to its usage in photovoltaic panels and other applications, the global silica sand market is expected to reach US $10 billion in revenues by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.2 per cent.
More information on this project can be found here.