Exploration company Allup Silica (ASX: APS) has commenced trading on the Australian Stock Exchange following a fully subscribed $5 million initial public offering.
The company issued 25 million shares at $0.20 each to a mix of institutional, sophisticated and retail investors and will use the funds to advance exploration and technical studies at its silica sands projects in Western Australia.
These include Sparkler and Antwalker, within the shire of Manjimup; Argyle, within the shire of Wyndham East Kimberley; and Esperance, within its own shire.
The company has established an inferred resource for Sparkler of 73 million tonnes at 96.6% silica.
Allup said its work at Sparkler would include ongoing exploration and an updating of the project’s mineral resource estimations to a higher level of JORC compliance.
Previous drilling at the project indicated the presence of silica sands with high levels of silica purity, and additional work would be needed to test the feasibility of any proposed mining development.
The company also intends to further explore the Cabbage Spot target within the Argyle project as well as the Pink Bark and Dune Buggy prospects within Esperance, where it is working towards obtaining approvals for the next stage of work.
The results will help to determine each project’s economic viability and may lead to the start of pre-feasibility studies.
When picking up its projects, Allup has also focused on road and port access to ensure easy transport of ore to international markets.
Allup executive chairperson Andrew Haythorpe said the company had a significant workload ahead in exploring for new silica and other mineral opportunities and would seek to grow its portfolio through direct application, acquisition or joint venture.
“We will be working hard to progress our strategy to become a leading supplier of premium silica sands to meet the growing demand of global markets,” he said.
“This is a most exciting time for the silica sands sector, and we look forward to bringing shareholders along on this journey and building a strong, safe and sustainable industrial minerals business.”
Essential raw material
High-grade silica sand is an essential raw material in the world’s industrial development, particularly in the production of specialised glass and photo-voltaic panels.
It contains a high portion (over 98%) of silicon dioxide and is valued for its combination of chemical and physical properties.
When pulverised, ground silica is required in the production of fibreglass insulation and for reinforcing glass fibres.
The sourcing of silica is increasingly under review, and environmental concerns in Asia — where the sand has traditionally been sourced from riverbeds — has seen supplies diminish as extraction from these sources is restricted.