Written by 5:33 pm Australia, Mining, VRX Silica

VRX Silica – Responsibly Meeting The Global Demand For Silica Sand

VRX Silica – Responsibly Meeting The Global Demand for Silica Sand
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VRX Silica Limited (ASX: VRX), is a high-quality silica sand mining company, based in Western Australia, aiming to become a leading supplier and producer in the silica sand industry. The company is currently focused on developing its four WA-based, high-grade silica sand projects – Arrowsmith North, Arrowsmith Central, Muchea and Boyatup Silica Sand Projects.

The VRX Way of Mining: A made-for-purpose mining method

VRX Silica focuses on Responsible Mining, a rehabilitation methodology, to maximize the restoration of native vegetation.

The company has developed a unique mining method known as Vegetation Direct Transfer (VDT), for its silica sand projects. With large-scale vegetation mapping of the mining area, the company ensures that flora and fauna habitat is restored. Initially, the mining operations remove a 3m x 3m x 400mm topsoil sod at any one time, ensuring the vast majority of native flora, invertebrate fauna, and other microbial contents present in the topsoil remain intact. The 5-8m of sand below the topsoil is excavated and processed leaving an area available for VDT.

VCX Silica - Mining Machine


As the mining progresses, the previously mined area is regenerated in a rapid and comprehensive manner. This rehabilitation methodology is continued throughout the mining process.

 VRX delivers on its ESG responsibilities and aligns well with the UN’s sustainable development goals.

VRX Silica - Goals & Mission


The VRX mining and rehabilitation methodology aligns with one of the statements given by the Australian government in their “MINE REHABILITATION: Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry” publications.

“Successful rehabilitation requires a continuous improvement focus, based on site-specific knowledge, research, and monitoring.”

Silica Sand: The second most consumed material on Earth

The global consumption growth of industrial silica sand is expected to reach 3.2% per year through 2022. As VRX Silica’s MD Bruce Maluish stated, “Silica sand is the most used commodity on the planet after water and over 50 Billion tonnes per year are used in concrete and glassmaking” while addressing the ‘New World Metals Conference’ held in Perth, Western Australia.

He went on to say that Asian stimulus spending is predominantly on infrastructure, meaning concrete. Concrete manufacturers are using silica sand at such a rate that Asia is running out of sand. Consequently, the glassmakers who need silica sand are unable to access sand deposits that may be suitable for beneficiation to glass quality sand.

Higher quality silica sand production in Asia has been sourced from dredging freshwater rivers and lakes, which is unsustainable and increasingly inaccessible due to environmental concerns.

Silica sand Uses


Adding to the demand, the number of products requiring silica sand includes everyday objects that we are surrounded by such as paint, plastic, car tyres, container glass, and solar panels. Products like solar panels require ultra-clear cover glass which requires high-quality silica sand, an increasingly scarce resource. 

VRX Silica’s Advanced Silica Sand Projects

Western Australia Map


Arrowsmith North Silica Sand Project – 99.7% SiO2

Arrowsmith North is the most advanced project, with production scheduled to commence in 2023. The company published a bankable feasibility study in 2019, based on an initial 25-year mine life, where Arrowsmith North has a Total Mineral Resource of 771 MT at 98.0% SiO2, and a Total Ore Reserve of 223 MT at 99.7% SiO2 which has the potential for +100 years of production.

Arrowsmith North has access to established infrastructure including:

  • An unused railway running adjacent to project tenements connecting to Geraldton Port (100km)
  • Water from Yarragadee North deep aquifer for processing
  • Road access via the adjacent Brand Highway
  • Power sources in the form of gas and later solar

The project is expected to yield revenue of $2.7bn over the initial 25-year mine life.

VRX Silica sand Project


Arrowsmith Central Silica Sand Project – 99.6% SiO2

Arrowsmith Central has a Total Mineral Resource of 76.5 MT at 96.6% SiO2, and a Total Ore Reserve of 18.9 MT at 99.6% SiO2. The raw sand obtained from this site can be processed to a quality suitable for the glass-making and foundry industries.

Moreover, the foundry industry product specifications focus on the size and shape of the silica sand grains. Arrowsmith Central has the potential to meet these required specifications.

Also Read: Top 6 Spots for Lithium Mining in Australia

Muchea Silica Sand Project – Outstanding grade of 99.9% SiO2 purity

Muchea offers an outstanding silicon dioxide content with low-iron content. The project has a total Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 208 MT at 99.6% SiO2, and an Ore Reserve of 18.7 MT at +99.9% SiO2.

Muchea has access to established infrastructure including:

  • An underutilized railway connectings to Kwinana Port (100km)
  • Power from Western Power main grid
  • Water from Yaragadee deep aquifer for processing
  • Road access via the adjacent Brand Highway

VRX Silica sand Project


Boyatup Silica Sand Project

Initial analysis on Boyatup silica sand indicates sand grades up to 99.7% SiO2 with very low Fe2O3 product.  The potential, industrial-specific products are in the process of being identified through comprehensive metallurgical test work, including a ‘fine’ product suitable for different glass-making industries.   might be available, which will be confirmed with.

VRX Silica Sand Project


VRX Silica’s Managing Director – Bruce Maluish

Bruce Maluish, the Managing Director at VRX Silica, has more than 40 years of experience in the mining industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Surveying from the Western Australian Institute of Technology, an Australian public university.

VRX Managing Director Bruce Maluish


Before arriving at VRX, Mr. Maluish served as a Managing Director and General Manager for various organisations like Abelle, Matilda Minerals, Hill 50, and Forsyth Mining. He has overseen different administrative and management roles that include the setup and marketing of IPOs, the commencement of exploration to full production, to the identification, development, and expansion of projects.

MD Bruce Maluish is also an expert in various resource sectors like gold, nickel, and mineral sands.

Latest News from VRX Silica

VRX Silica released its presentation, delivered by MD Bruce Maluish at the 2022 New World Metals Conference, Perth held on 8th September.

Top highlights of the report

Features of the world-class project portfolio of VRX Silica:

  • VRX Silica’s four advancing silica sand projects have the potential to supply high-grade silica sand for more than 100 years.
  • All four projects follow simple, low-impact mining and processing.
  • Customers in Southeast Asia show a strong interest in the VRX silica sand resources.
  • The projects show a scope of long-term opportunity for WA-based silica sand export and glass manufacturing and downstream industries.
  • All four large-scale silica sand projects– Arrowsmith North, Arrowsmith Central, Muchea, and Boyatup have combined mineral resources of 1.116 Billion Tonnes (extracted from releases to ASX on 28 August 2019, 17 September 2019, and 18 October 2019).

VRX Silica Project Result


Other highlights of the presentation report:

  • VRX delivers on its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) responsibilities.
  • The use of Vegetation Direct Transfer (VDT) mining and rehabilitation methodology.
  • The corporate summary includes the details of the VRX Silica board of directors and capital structure.

Investor Outlook

VRX Silica ranks 247 out of 914 in the mining sector and has an enterprise value of $79 million. The company has a market capitalization of $87 million and has issued a total of 558,403,029 shares.

VRX Silica Growth


Expected revenue as per VRX’s silica sand projects.

  • The Arrowsmith North project is expected to yield a revenue of $2.7bn over the initial 25-year mine life.
  • The Arrowsmith Central project is expected to generate more than $2.1bn in revenue over the initial 25-year mine life.
  • The Muchea silica sand project is expected to yield $3.3bn in revenue over the initial 25-year mine life.
  • Moreover, there is strong customer interest in Southeast Asia, which can yield profits with increasing high-grade silica sand demand.

VRX Silica has amazing scope for share investments. For more details on shares, investments, and market cap, visit the company website.


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