The Albany project consists of 4 granted exploration licenses and 1 application covering a total of 761km2 and is 100% owned by ASQ. The Albany project covers ground that is adjacent to the existing Austsand Mining operation which produced and exported around 240,000 tonnes of SiO2 sand using the existing CBH bulk grain ship loading facility at the Albany Port in 2016. Austsand is owned by the Japanese trading houses Tochu Corporation, Toyota Tsusho Corporation and shipping partner Tsuneishi Holdings. It is understood that the sand is exported to Korea and Japan and is being used in glass industries including the TFT and LCD industries.
Aerial view of Austsand Operation
The company is assessing various target areas with specific reference to accessibility, distance to port and currently evaluating various ship loading options to load silica via the bulk shiploading facilities from the Albany Port.
Albany Port with shiploader
Albany White Hill Silica Sand Project
The Company has completed a Mineral Resource Estimate on a property 70km east of Albany totalling 11.6 Mt with >99.9% SiO2 and <50 ppm Fe2O3 and extends over a strike length of 1,650m and has a maximum width of 1,565m (ASQ (2021). Maiden High Grade, Low Iron, Silica Sand Resource. ASX Release 28 January 2021).
Table 1: Albany White Sand Hill Silica Sand Deposit January 2021 Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate
Metallurgical testwork results indicate the silica sand is readily processed by conventional washing and gravity separation to produce a very high-grade silica sand product that has potential for industries such as general and specialty glass making including solar panel cover glass and optical glass (ASQ (2021). Maiden High Grade, Low Iron, Silica Sand Resource. ASX Release 28 January 2021).
Figure 6: Location of the Albany White Hill Silica Sand Project on E70/5262 east of Albany. ASQ South Stirling Ni-Cu Sulphide tenements shown for context. Other holder tenements not shown.
A Scoping Study looking at the suitability of the deposit for development into a 0.5 – 1.0 Mtpa export operation is progressing. Preliminary assessment of metallurgy and process plant design, environmental assessment, water supply, the sand market and port access has given the Company confidence that these aspects of the project are achievable within the expected economic and regulatory constraints.
The transport of the sand 15-20km from the deposit to the South Coast Highway for road haulage into the Albany Port is the subject of ongoing further investigation.