Allup (ASX:APS) ascends on the West’s high-purity silica scores

Allup (ASX:APS) ascends on the West’s high-purity silica scores

March 28, 2024 Off By Jack Baker

Allup Silica shares more than doubled in early trading after releasing twin-barrel announcements of high-purity testwork and more high-grade results from the silica sands of Western Australia.

Bulk sample testwork on the 70 million tonnes at 96.84 per cent silicon dioxide Sparkler project in the South West exceeded industry standards for silica’s most high-purity applications with a 99.84% purity product boasting less than 100 parts per million iron oxide.

The purity mark from the project 150 kilometres from Albany port was produced without magnetic separation, and effective reduction of key contaminants through conventional processing techniques have allowed Allup to consistently produce at a high-quality.

Allup Silica Chairperson Andrew Haythorpe said the result was a pivotal continuation and refinement of previous efforts to optimise its process circuit design.

“This phase has successfully advanced our understanding and capability to produce high-purity silica sand, crucial for the photovoltaic industry,” he said.

“This progress aligns with our ongoing objectives to enhance product consistency, reduce capital and operational expenditures, ensure stringent quality assurance/quality control, and explore opportunities to increase our estimated mineral reserves by achieving a methodology that could support an increase in the depth of sand to be viably mined.”

And far away from southwest Sparkler in the state’s northern reaches, results from 43 surface samples at the Cabbage Spot project have surpassed 98% silica with an average grade of 98.6% and a top in situ score of 99.4%.

Testwork there is now underway to determine if the northern sands have the same potential as Sparkler’s for high-purity applications, with Haythorpe saying the impressive results had clearly demonstrated the sands’ superior quality.

“Our most recent sampling efforts have revealed multiple significant areas of high-purity silica sand, marking a significant stride in our exploration journey,” he said.

“Particularly striking was our best result, showing an in situ purity of 99.4% SiO2, which highlights the top-tier quality of our project.

“These outcomes not only confirm the high-grade nature of our silica assets but also strengthen our dedication to providing essential materials for the renewable energy industry.”

The market appeared to agree, and by 11am Perth time Allup’s share price had ascended by over 120%.

Silica is the most-used commodity on earth after air and water, and the main ingredient in all types of glass making, with industry demand is increasing to the tune of 5-6% a year.

The commodity is also a finite resource being exhausted rapidly. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for roughly half of all glass produced and is experiencing growing demands amid a global supply shortfall.

But more common glasses aside, the true prize for silica remains the high-purity product used for specialty solar panels and high-tech glasses, a destination toward which Allup has continued to make strides.

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