Diatreme Resources’ exploration efforts in North Queensland have seen the company discover another high-grade silica sand resource within its Cape Bedford exploration tenement (EPM17795).
Diatreme has confirmed a new maiden inferred mineral resource at its Si 2 North project, the northern tenement area of EPM17795, which contains an estimated 53 million tonnes at 99.32 per cent silica (SiO2).
As part of a 47-hole drilling program conducted in November 2021, the exploration company made significant intersections including 42 metres at 99.39 per cent silica and 30 metres at 99.62 per cent silica within this inferred resource.
The resource spans approximately 305 hectares and neighbours the mining leases of the world’s largest silica sand mine at Cape Flattery in Far North Queensland.
Diatreme chief executive officer Neil McIntyre said the new discovery comes as the company continues to expand its footprint in North Queensland.
“Our Galalar silica project in the southern section of our tenement is advancing through its permitting and approvals process and remains our immediate development priority. However this new maiden inferred resource in the northern section of our exploration tenement … shows Diatreme has the potential for multiple operations within its extraordinarily prospective tenement area,” he said.
“The Si 2 North project discovery is exceptional given its size and proximity to existing export infrastructure at Cape Flattery, and serves to highlight the company’s potential over time to have multiple mining operations, and genuinely has the potential to become a world class producer of high-purity silica product of significant scale, volume and capacity.”
Given the prospects of this resource, Diatreme is investigating the possibility of lodging a new mining lease application specific to the northern section of the EPM17795 tenement, which would enable the company to fast-track a second major high-purity silica operation.
Diatreme aims to deliver a definitive feasibility study for Galalar in 2022 to support a final investment decision for the flagship project, expected in the second quarter of 2022.
The company announced a maiden mineral reserve estimate of 32 million tonnes for Galalar in November 2021. This will be sufficient for an estimated 18 years of initial operations.