Published On: November 16th, 2023
VRX Silica Limited (ASX: VRX) (“VRX Silica” or “Company”), led by Managing Director Mr Bruce Maluish, is delighted to announce the dispatch of a 1,000 kg sample of selected sand from its Muchea Silica Sand Project to a specialised laboratory in Germany. The purpose of this dispatch is to conduct comminution testing that will determine the potential yield, quality, and power requirements to produce high-quality silica flour for the manufacturing of LCD glass.
Figure 1: VRX Projects Locations
The comminution and grinding tests will be conducted by a specialist test facility in Germany, with 50% of the associated costs covered by a grant from the Western Australian Government. The results from these tests will play a crucial role in informing VRX’s equipment selection for purchasing a High-Grade Silica Flour pilot plant.
VRX Managing Director Mr Bruce Maluish highlighted the significance of this step, stating,
“The Muchea silica sand has the potential to produce the grade and quality of sand required for the production of high-quality silica flour. This specialised test work will determine the parameters needed to achieve the desired quality and assess the economic viability of the process.”
Managing Director Mr Bruce Maluish also acknowledged the contribution of the State Government, stating,
“The State Government is contributing to the test work program and potentially the pilot plant required through the previously announced Investment Attraction Fund grant. This marks a significant step towards determining the potential for further downstream processing from VRX’s high-grade Muchea Silica Sand Project, creating a new industry for Western Australia with additional jobs and royalties.”
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On July 18, 2023, VRX announced securing $2 million in matched funding to construct a pilot plant for High Purity Quartz (HPQ) flour under the Investment Attraction Fund (IAF). The IAF is part of the State Government’s Diversify WA initiative, aiming to create secure, quality jobs, grow and diversify the economy, and attract new investment through collaboration between government, industry, and the community.
The Project’s current phase involves comminution testing of Muchea sand to determine the yield and quality of silica flour. Silica flour is a high-value, low-iron silica product crucial in producing LCD glass for display screens.
The demand for HPQ flour has steadily increased, as reflected in the export prices of silica flour over the last three years. Comminution and grinding tests in Germany will provide essential data for VRX to finalise equipment and process design for a silica flour pilot plant, aligning with the IAF Grant application.
VRX emphasises that producing HPQ flour from Muchea silica sand requires only grinding and classification, with no chemical processing. The Company believes Muchea’s coarse material is suitable and will yield high-quality silica flour.
The ultimate commercial outcomes of the IAF-funded program include silica flour for LCD glass, potential HPQ for silicon wafer production, and high-quality silica powders for various applications, including thermal protection for lithium-ion batteries.
About Mr Bruce Maluish, Managing Director of VRX Silica Limited
Mr Bruce Maluish, the Managing Director of VRX Silica Limited, boasts an extensive career with over four decades of experience. Mr Bruce Maluish has occupied prominent leadership positions in companies such as the Monarch Group of Companies, Abelle, Forsyth Mining, Matilda Minerals, and Hill 50. He is widely recognised within the industry for his expertise in managing and overseeing various critical aspects of business operations, such as initiating and promoting initial public offerings (IPOs) from the early stages of exploration to achieving full-scale production.
- VRX Silica’s partnership with the WA Government signals a shift towards downstream processing, tapping into the rising demand for high-quality silica in LCD glass manufacturing.
- With 50% of testing costs covered, VRX Silica secures strong government backing, enhancing investor confidence in the economic viability and long-term benefits of the Muchea Silica Sand Project.
- In August 2023, the Company announced a $3 million capital raising, including a $1.5 million Placement and a $1.5 million SPP, with subscribers entitled to one free-attaching option per share.
- The SPP offered eligible shareholders the chance to apply for up to $30,000 worth of new shares, with applications totalling $1.25 million, issued on September 29 2023.
- The recent announcement on environmental approvals signifies the Company’s ability to progress its silica sand projects and promises a prosperous future.
- As of November 15, 2023, VRX Silica‘s share price stood at AUD 0.105 per share, with an average 52-week stock trading range between AUD 0.180 to AUD 0.085 per share.
- VRX Silica has 583.38 million shares on issue and a market capitalisation of approximately AUD 61.25 million as of November 1, 2023.
About VRX Silica Limited:
VRX Silica Limited (ASX: VRX) is the most advanced pure-play silica sand company listed on the ASX, developing its 100% owned silica sand projects at Arrowsmith, Muchea, and Boyatup in Western Australia. Silica sand is vital in various industries, including glassmaking, solar panel production, and foundry casting. The Company’s projects aim to address the growing supply shortfall in the Asia-Pacific region, driving up prices and offering significant economic opportunities.
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