VRX Silica has provided its quarterly activities report for the period ended 31 December 2020.
Arrowsmith Silica Sand Projects
Native Title Clearance
VRX holds the Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central Silica Sand Projects (Arrowsmith Projects), which are located 270km north of Perth, in its wholly owned subsidiary Ventnor Mining Pty Ltd.
In October 2020, conclusive registration of the Yamatji Nation Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) occurred, which cleared the pathway for grant of the Company’s Mining Lease and Miscellaneous Licence applications for its Arrowsmith Projects.
The ILUA is an alternative settlement by the Western Australian Government of native title claims covering a significant portion of land in the Mid West, including the Southern Yamatji People’s claim covering the Arrowsmith Projects.
This Government-led ILUA settled all native title claims over the Arrowsmith Projects area and superseded the negotiations that had been progressing in good faith between VRX and the Southern Yamatji People native title claimants over the Arrowsmith Projects. The strong and supportive relationships established with the Southern Yamatji People will continue to benefit all parties as the Arrowsmith Projects are developed, and the Company intends to continue to consult with the Southern Yamatji People.
Aboriginal Heritage Survey
In November 2020, VRX announced the results of an Aboriginal heritage survey at its Arrowsmith Projects.
The comprehensive archaeological and ethnographic survey was conducted during October with Amangu representatives of the Yamatji Nation and Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) personnel over proposed initial mining and critical infrastructure areas.
The survey found no isolated artifacts and no onerous heritage recommendations were made. Preliminary advice received by the Company from YMAC confirmed that the Arrowsmith North Access Road, Services Corridor and Production Area have been cleared for the stated works to proceed for 10 years of production. The Arrowsmith Central Production Area and Arrowsmith Central Infrastructure Areas are cleared for 5 years of production.
Grant of Mining Leases
On 17 November 2020, VRX announced the grant of Mining Leases for its Arrowsmith Projects (see Figure 2). This, together with the Aboriginal heritage clearance for the proposed works on both projects, is an important step forward for their development. The combined Mining Lease areas cover over 3,600ha, sufficient for over 100 years of production.
The grant of these Mining Leases was another significant milestone for the Company and came shortly after the grant of the Mining Lease for VRX’s Muchea Silica Sand Project (see commentary below). It enables the Company to step up negotiations to finalise sales contracts for the high-quality silica sand products and secure the necessary funding for their development.