In a short series to kick off 2022, the Investor Insight team takes a look at some of the critical elements of the periodic table, how they affect our lives today and into tomorrow and what our clients are doing in this exciting space.
Silica sand, despite its seemingly humble nature, is a key ingredient for glass production, including the glass used in electronics ubiquitous in day-to-day life – think smart phones but also solar panels.
The utilisation of silicon in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries instead of graphite has also proven to triple capacity compared to conventional lithium-ion, an important development as the world continues to decarbonise and battery technology is further relied on.
As smart phones, computers, solar panels and other technology continues to integrate themselves into modern society, the need for high-quality, high-purity silica sand will only continue to grow.
In fact, the Australian silica sand market is predicted to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.7% to 2027, according to a report by QuantAlign Research, as global supply dwindles.
Seeing the opportunity within the market, VRX Silica has worked to meet the rising demand in Asia-Pacific for silica sand through development of its Arrowsmith North and Central and Muchea silica sand projects, which are located north of Perth and close to existing infrastructure including gas pipelines and transport routes.
Towards the end of 2021 VRX announced offtake deals with key players in South Korea’s foundry industry, highlighting the rising demand.
Notably, the mineral resources at VRX’s projects include high-grade white sand while across its three project areas it counts a world-scale resource of one billion tonnes of 99.6% to 99.9% SiO2, enough for a massive, multi-decades operation.