Allup Silica broadens application potential with high-purity results from Sparkler

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Allup Silica ASX APS Sparkler

Bulk sample test work of high-purity silica from Allup Silica’s (ASX: APS) Sparkler project in the south of Western Australia has demonstrated the product exceeds industry standards for high-purity applications including photovoltaics and high-tech manufacturing.

The test work was completed by CDE Global and showed the silicon dioxide content could be beneficiated to 99.84% without magnetic separation, underscoring the sands’ value and suitability in specialised industries.

The process also proved a reduction of key contaminants ferric oxide, aluminium oxide and titanium dioxide with conventional silica sand processing techniques.

Pivotal continuation

Chair Andrew Haythorpe said the results represented a “pivotal continuation” and refinement of Allup’s efforts aimed at optimising the process circuit design for Sparkler.

“This phase has advanced our understanding and capability to produce high-purity silica sand which is crucial for certain industries,” he said.

“It aligns with our objective to enhance product consistency, reduce capital and operating expenditures, ensure stringent quality standards and explore opportunities to increase our estimated mineral reserves by achieving a methodology which could support an increase in the depth of sand to be viably mined.”

Specialty glass

Silica sand is a raw material used in the production of optical fibre, ceramics, refractory materials and glassmaking, including the specialty glass required for photovoltaic cells (solar panels) and mobile phone screens.

The presence of impurities such as ferric oxide can have adverse effects on the silica sand product such as impairing transmission in optical fibres, reducing glass transparency, discolouring ceramic products and lowering the melting point of refractory materials.

The impurities can also typically make silica sand less valuable.

Cabbage Spot sampling

The latest round of sampling at Allup’s Cabbage Spot project in WA’s far north has identified multiple large areas of high-purity silica sand.

Results from 43 surface samples returned silicon dioxide grades greater than 98%, with an average grade of 98.6% and a best in situ grade of 99.4%.

Beneficiation test work is now underway to determine the potential of Cabbage Spot silica sand for high-tech and photovoltaic applications.

“This marks a significant stride in our exploration journey [and] clearly demonstrates the superior quality of our silica sand,” Mr Haythorpe said.

“These outcomes confirm the high-grade nature of our silica assets and strengthen our dedication to providing essential materials for the renewable energy industry.”