Aspiring silica sands producer Ventnor Resources (ASX: VRX) has been busy at its Arrowsmith project north of Perth, with a maiden mineral resource revealed at one of its prospects that sparked another flurry of investor activity on the bourse.
Bruce Maluish-led Ventnor told the market last week that shallow hand auger drilling its Arrowsmith North prospect – a key component of the Arrowsmith project – in late 2017 had delivered an inferred mineral resource of 193.6 million tonnes at 98 per cent silicon dioxide, equal to a 38 per cent increase on the company’s previous exploration target for the asset.
The result is based on an exploration program of 62 hand-held auger drill holes to a depth of 4-5 metres, for a total of 235.6m.
While already an improvement on the exploration target, Ventnor says additional drilling planned for later in the year will use deeper aircore drill holes and should substantially add to the maiden mineral resource if successful.
In what is a further boon for the company, metallurgical test work from the initial exploration program has verified that the sand can be beneficiated to glass-making quality.
The news came in the middle of an investor rally for Ventnor shares, with the company’s stock surging 146 per cent from a late-September lull of about 7 cents per share to as much as 17.5 cents, before resting on 13 cents at market close on Friday.
The last time Ventnor shares traded as high as 17 cents was in November 2013.
“This estimation confirms our belief that Arrowsmith has the potential to be a very substantial source of silica sand for glassmaking,” Mr Maluish said.
“From our test work we have been able to obtain samples of the final products that we can send to prospective customers.
“Coupled with this mineral resource estimate, we can accelerate our marketing program for potential sales in Asia.”