The Cape Flattery Silica Sands Project is located on the coast approximately 200 km north of Cairns in Far North Queensland. The Project is 100% owned by Metallica Minerals and covers 56km2 of exploration tenure and is located adjacent to the world class Cape Flattery Silica Sands mining and shipping operation owned by Mitsubishi.
In April 2018 the company completed a low-cost maiden sampling program which identified three target areas with silica oxide (SiO2) percentages greater than 99%. These target areas form the basis of the Exploration Target* of 20-100Mt of high purity silica sands, with insitu quality ranging between 96.9% and 99.6% SiO2.
The company completed a sampling program in the last quarter of 2019, the program confirmed the presence of high-purity silica sands. The program consisted of hand-augering eight holes to an average depth of 4.75m on the eastern side of the tenement.
The aim of the auger sampling program was to establish access to the sand dune target area, confirm interpretations of the extent and potential thickness of the targeted sand dune, conduct low-impact sampling using a hand-held sand auger and confirm that the sand quality is similar and comparable to the known Cape Flattery sand quality that is currently on the market. The results from the program were encouraging and confirm that the sample is similar quality to the already identified silica sand resources at Cape Flattery and Cape Bedford.
The Company is in the process of planning a further exploration program to establish a maiden silica sand resource as well as to further progress the concept work currently underway on an infrastructure solution to load ocean-going vessels.
About Silica Sands
High purity silica sands are becoming more sought after, with the global market growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 6% between 2010 and 2017, according to industry research firm IMARC Group. In 2017, a total of 188Mt of silica sand was produced globally.
The growth has been driven by silica sand’s applications across a broad range of industries including glass-making, foundry casting, water filtration, chemicals and metals, along with the hydraulic facturing process and an increasing amount of hi-tech products including solar panels. For example in the global glass-making industry, one of the major consumers of high purity silica, has experienced significant growth recently from the construction and automotive industries.
Forecasts have demand for silica sands increasing at CAGR of 7.2% through to 2022, with annual revenues reaching US$9.6 Billion.
*Exploration TargetThe potential quality and grade of the Cape Flattery Silica Sand deposits are conceptual in nature. There is insufficient information at this time to define a mineral resource and there is no certainty that further exploration will result in the determination of a mineral resource in these areas.