Diatreme (ASX:DRX) lifts silica sand mine confidence amid Queensland hub push

Diatreme (ASX:DRX) lifts silica sand mine confidence amid Queensland hub push

April 18, 2024 Off By Jack Baker

Diatreme Resources can move to a mine planning phase for its flagship Northern Silica project in Queensland’s top end after raising confidence in its silica resources, laying foundations for a preliminary feasibility study and ore reserve estimate.

The indicated portion of the global 402 million tonne low-iron and high-purity silica resource has been raised by 17 per cent to 120.5Mt at the core Si2 deposit, with a new measured component standing at 49.5Mt.

Particle size distribution has confirmed a consistent distribution suitable for downstream processing into the high-value solar markets and bulk tensity testwork has likewise validated a previously assumed density.

The Queensland government is currently conducting coordinated assessments of mining related applications from the Diatreme-controlled Northern Silica corporation for the 25-year Northern Silica Sand Mining Project.

These assessments for the significant Queensland project 30 kilometres north of Hope Vale and 200 km north of Cairns include an environmental impact assessment for a greenfield sand mine and processing plant operation that could be constructed from next year.

Diatreme Chief Executive Neil McIntyre said it was pleasing to report further enhancement of Northern Silica’s flagship resource.

“The enhanced resource allows us to advance our PFS with greater confidence, providing a deeper understanding of the extraordinary potential for commercialisation contained within the Si2 dune complex at the NSP,” McIntyre said.

“We look forward to delivering the project’s PFS by mid-2024, together with a maiden ore reserve, as we ramp up development of this asset vital to the clean energy revolution, both in Australia and internationally.”

Diatreme is now undergoing more bulk sample testing and specialist metallurgical testwork as the Queensland-based explorer looks toward a crucial preliminary feasibility study and development into an ascendent Australian solar industry.

The Australian Federal Government just last month announced up to a billion dollars in funding for a Solar Sunshot Program directed at building the nation’s solar manufacturing capacity.

The Queensland-based explorer’s home state has also made initiatives to boost its solar industry, and Northern Silica’s position near a Cape Flattery area earmarked as a potential silica hub by the state government that could offer more than a nearby port.

The government acknowledges Northern Silica is a significant project for Queensland that could produce up to 5Mt a year of silica sand product for export out of Port of Cape Flattery, creating 90 ongoing jobs in the north of the state.

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