Written by 10:37 am Australia, Business News, Mining, Most Popular, Top Stories, VRX Silica

VRX Silica and UNSW’s SPREE Partner for Low Carbon Solar Panel Glass Recycling Project in Australia

VRX Silica and UNSW
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VRX Silica Sand


VRX Silica Limited (ASX: VRX) (VRX or the Company) announces partnership with the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) for a strategic research project to explore the potential of a local, low-carbon solar panel glass recycling program in Australia. The project has a timeframe of two years and is set to commence on July 1st, 2023.

The pilot phase of this work received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and was executed by the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) at UNSW. ACAP, with the support of a reputable industry partner specialising in silica sand sustainability, plans to advance the project to its next phase.

VRX Managing Director Mr Bruce Maluish stated, 

“VRX is pleased to collaborate with the University of New South Wales and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency in this initiative to investigate the potential recycling of components of solar panels. 

“This part of the life cycle of a solar panel is insufficiently studied but is increasingly required to complete the cycle for the use of solar panels.”  

VRX Silica MD


VRX Silica Limited Managing Director, Mr Bruce Maluish, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the mining industry, accumulating over 40 years of involvement. He has a solid educational foundation and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science in Surveying from the Western Australian Institute of Technology.

Before joining VRX Silica, Mr Bruce Maluish held significant positions, including Managing Director and General Manager, in esteemed organisations such as the Monarch Group of Companies, Abelle, Matilda Minerals, Hill 50, and Forsyth Mining. Throughout his career, he has effectively managed various responsibilities, including IPO setup and marketing, exploration to complete production oversight, and project identification, development, and expansion.

With a broad understanding and experience in resource sectors like gold, nickel, and mineral sand, MD Bruce Maluish demonstrates exceptional leadership and management skills in his role at VRX Silica.

Similarly, Dr Richard Corkish, Chief Operating Officer of the Australian Centre for Advanced  Photovoltaics, commented, 

“We at the UNSW node of ACAP are delighted to partner with VRX to build on our existing ARENA-backed work exploring the opportunities for maximising the value of end-of-life solar panel glass. This work will also help reduce future waste volumes and to extend the life of reserves of low-iron silica sand.” 

Promoting Sustainable Solar Panel Production Through Glass Recycling

The scarcity of silica sand, a critical material used in solar panel production, has prompted the need for sustainable practices in the industry. 

The project’s primary objective is to conduct a comprehensive techno-economic analysis of Australia’s proposed PV glass recycling industry. This analysis will evaluate the economic viability and technological feasibility of establishing a local, low-iron, flat glass manufacturing sector capable of accepting and recycling the glass from solar panels. The recycled glass, cullet, would be utilised to produce new solar panel cover glass.

The successful implementation of this closed-loop PV glass industry would contribute to Australia’s solar energy sector’s sustainability. The project aims to reduce waste and minimise the environmental impact of solar panel production by recycling and reusing glass from end-of-life solar panels.

The Potential for Solar Panel Glass Recycling in Australia

Sand Project


The silica sand found in Muchea, Australia, is particularly well-suited for producing solar panel glass due to its low iron content. Its strategic location near existing rail access enables efficient and eco-friendly transportation of sand and cullet to ports or potential glass factories. Basic methods for separating PV cover glass from other materials have been established, used, or implemented in Australia. 

VRX Silica will collaborate with ACAP researchers, sharing data on the Muchea silica sand deposit, including development progress, material requirements, and industry insights. SPREE of UNSW will contribute by providing information on PV glass recovery activities, global demand projections, and techno-economic modelling results. Together, this collaboration aims to advance solar panel glass recycling, leveraging local resources and meeting sustainability objectives in the industry.

Investor Outlook and Financials

  • Promising potential in the mining industry with VRX Silica’s focus on silica sand, a critical material used in various sectors, including solar panel production
  • Strong market position with access to abundant low-iron silica sand deposits, offering a competitive advantage
  • Increasing emphasis on environmentally friendly practices, positioning VRX Silica well in the sustainable resource sector
  • VRX Silica’s share price stands at AUD 0.13 per share as of June 29th, 2023, with a 52-week range movement is AUD 0.093 – AUD 0.190 per share
  • The Company’s market capitalisation stands at AUD 72.9 million as of June 29th, 2023
  • VRX Silica has 560.4 million shares in issue with unlisted options of 48.5 million as of the date

About VRX Silica Limited

VRX Silica is a leading pure-play silica sand company listed on the ASX. With a highly experienced board and management team at the helm, VRX Silica is focused on advancing its portfolio of four Western Australian silica sand projects, including the Arrowsmith North Silica Sand Project and the Arrowsmith Central Silica Sand Project, located near Eneabba, south of Geraldton, the Muchea Silica Sand Project, situated north of Perth and the Boyatup Silica Sand Project, 100 km east of Esperance.

Visit the official website for the latest updates and details.


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