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• Over 10 years of investigations at the Project area have resulted in the determination of probable mineable reserves of at least 21,000,000 tonnes of friable sandstone. The sandstone contains silica sand in a kaolin matrix.
• The sand component will produce approx. 1,125,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of fully graded construction sand, over 155,000 tpa of specialty sand products, and over 122,000 tpa of high-value kaolin clay.
• The construction sand fits ideally into the industry sand grading curve, which means that unlike other current construction sand sources, it will not need to be blended before sale.
• The looming construction sand supply shortage in Sydney strengthens the need for this Project as it will supply over 16% of Sydney's demand at full production.
• The sand is of sufficient purity to export for the production of high value glass components.
• Mineralogical tests on the kaolin show it to be very high quality (high brightness, good particle size distribution, low alkalis, low iron content, low titanium, high alumina, high PCE, and a well ordered, crystalline structure).
• Specialty sand and kaolin products are in strong demand both domestically and internationally. Some products from this Project will enable the replacement of imports, while others will be readily sold into export markets.
The Sydney Construction Materials friable sandstone resource at on the Newnes Plateau at Newnes Junction represents a prime opportunity to introduce several much needed sand and kaolin products into Australian and International markets.
The Newnes Junction resource is defined as a friable sandstone deposit, comprising a weathered, mainly white quartzose (high-silica) sandstone. The friable nature of the sandstone, unique to Triassic age sandstones developed on plateau areas of the Sydney Basin, is attributed to the presence of a high grade kaolin matrix, averaging around 7.6% within the deposit. The friable sandstone is readily disaggregated during wet processing into quartz sand (for construction sand and speciality sands) and kaolin for a range of industrial mineral applications.
The Sydney Construction Materials Newnes Junction Sand Extraction and Kaolin Mining Project will extract friable sandstone from its quarry at Newnes Junction using innovative surface mining technology for processing into three key products: Construction Sand, Specialty Sands, and Kaolin Clay.
Currently approved supplies of sand for use in the construction industry are rapidly approaching depletion. Given that several new sources have either been rejected or face significant opposition, the SCM resource presents a very real opportunity to address some of the forecast shortfall. The use of recycled and manufactured sand in construction applications should definitely be encouraged, but it cannot possibly totally replace the need for virgin sand.
Specialty sands, including such products as Cristobalite, TFT glass sand, Silica flour, Filter sand, Pea gravel, and Glass sand, represent a higher-value use of this sand resource than construction sand. That being said, the market is significantly smaller than that of construction sand and so cannot possibly absorb all of the sand resource.
Kaolin clay products, including Plastics filler, Metakaolin (opacifier & pozzolan), Refractory clays, Rubber filler, Ceramics clay, Glass fibre reinforcement, Plasterboard fillers, Brick/tiles additive, represent the highest-value products (per tonne) of this resource. Indeed, it would be quire reasonable to view this project as a kaolin operation in which the sand, not the kaolin, is the valuable co-product. Current sources of kaolin for various kaolin markets in Australia are running down. For other markets, the kaolin is entirely imported. This project will allow Australian markets to maintain supply without the need to go overseas, and will fully replace imports in other markets.
Resources such as this are crucial to the sand and kaolin products industries. It presents the opportunity to take up the shortfall in markets in which supplies are rapidly depleting, and the opportunity to create full import replacements in others. Given the proximity of this deposit to the market, and its location adjacent to an existing rail loop, this resource is in an ideal location to service the Sydney construction sand market.
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