VRX Silica and Steam Resources enter a Geothermal JVNovember 3, 2023
VRX Silica has entered into a Farm-In and Joint Venture Agreement with Hydro X for a Geothermal Exploration permit at Dandaragan to support its Western Australian silica sand projects and produce long-term dispatchable energy into the state’s Mid-West.
It provides VRX with an attractive structure for exposure to the development of Geothermal Exploration Permit 44, consisting of eight contiguous blocks including a Walyering gas field now under development, and a potential alternative energy solution for its own silica sand assets.
And for Hydro X, it provides an exciting exploration play with the expertise on hand to develop untapped geothermal resources for a planned listing on the Australian Stock Exchange as Steam Resources.
Steam Managing Director Josh Puckridge said the permit represents a unique development opportunity for geothermal energy production in Western Australia to complement other assets in the Northern Territory and South Australia.
“Recent developments in supercritical CO2 geothermal plant design greatly increases the potential for significant baseline production of green geothermal energy in Western Australia,” Mr Puckridge said.
“Leveraging Steam’s work in the geothermal industry with Permit 44 is of great value to our shareholders and the shareholders of VRX.”
VRX Managing Director Bruce Maluish said the initiative was undertaken to support its silica sand projects and the long-term ambitions of Western Australian glass production.
“Geothermal energy is a reliable, long-term renewable energy source and we identified this opportunity for a new renewable energy industry in the Mid West,” Mr Maluish said.
“We are impressed by the credentials of Steam’s management team and look forward to working with them to realise the full potential of the Dandaragan geothermal project.
“In the meantime, VRX Silica continues work on the development of our silica sand projects at Arrowsmith, Muchea and Boyatup as we strive to become a leading supplier globally of high-quality silica sand products.”
Produced from underground water reservoirs naturally heated by the earth, geothermal energy stands as a clean, essentially emission-free renewable resource.
Geothermal electricity is already among the cheapest sources in the US, and a report from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has found that Australia holds large potential to produce its own geothermal resources.
It has so far been confined to smaller-scale projects, heating pools and spa resorts, but with next generation technologies emerging and renewed, there are now a small handful of Australian companies pursuing the ultimate goal of downstream processing.
There is a growing reputation that the Mid West could become the central hub for renewable and downstream use in Western Australia, and VRX Silica has now claimed its part.
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