Testing with an enhanced deposition process yielded an average Fe2O3 content of 84 ppm across all test results, meeting the premium specification of <100 ppm required for photovoltaic applications. After processing, a SiO2 of 99.8% (highest value) was achieved. The average yield was greater than 96% SiO2 for all samples tested. The goal, Chairman Andrew Haythorpe said, is to achieve the high specification required for the manufacture of solar panels project-wide in the future by further optimizing the separation process. The Sparkler A Project already has an in situ Inferred Resource of 70 million tonnes of sand at 96.84% SiO2 (see news release dated June 30, 2022).
Figure 1: Photovoltaic production plant. The picture shows the machines used in the production of solar panels and represents the final product, where silica sand is a raw material. (Allup Silica)
The results show a good separation (>95%) of SiO2 from the flotation residue (product) and a reduction in the content of impurities in all cases, with a reduction of Fe2O3 content in the concentrate between 11 and 33% (Fe2O3). Organic environmentally friendly flotation reagents were used to obtain these results.
Figure 2: Grades with less than 100 ppm impurity are considered suitable for the photovoltaic industry (solar panel), which is an important target market for Allup Silica.
Allup Silica Chairman Andrew Haythorpe said, "The results of the improvements we are making to the process circuit are very encouraging and show that we have the right projects and the high purity silica sands to start with. Because we are achieving the high purity specifications for PV cell manufacturing, as we develop our Sparkler project, we can start supplying samples to potential customers."
Additional test work is underway to further refine the proposed process circuit methodology and achieve the ultimate goal of consistent iron content below 100 ppm across Allup Silica's exploration projects.
The next work program will have several objectives: producing a more consistent low impurity product (<100 ppm Fe2O3), finding ways to reduce capital and operating costs (reducing upstream grading), consistent quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC), and a methodology that may support increasing the depth of mineable sand as this could potentially increase estimated mineral reserves.
The objective of the test program was to prepare a high purity silica sand with low impurities, specifically Fe2O3<100 ppm (0.01%).
The company believes that high quality silica sand of this specification with low iron content will be in high demand for the production of high quality ultra-clear cover glass, especially for the emerging photovoltaic industry (solar panels).
Figure 3: Sparkler Silica Sands project area in Western Australia showing locations of high grade test samples.
Conclusion: Solar panels require high-purity sand with a particularly low iron content. The lower the contamination, the more attractive further processing by customers becomes and the higher the potential selling price. Due to its geology, Australia has the potential to become the Saudi Arabia for sand. Saharan sand is not suitable for use in construction or for solar panels. Allup Silica has secured a strategic portfolio of sand projects across Australia. The Sparkler project in Western Australia is just the beginning. Developing sand deposits is less risky compared to exploring for gold or non-ferrous metal deposits because a resource can be quickly calculated. The investment required to start sand production is comparatively manageable at A$15 million to A$20 million, even more so when you consider that such projects have a long life. The decisive factor for profitability is the purity of the product. There is no lack of demand. Even today, long before commercial production, Allup Silica regularly receives inquiries from interested parties in the industry. Allup raised A$5 million in its initial public offering in April this year. The four directors together hold more than 40 percent of the shares, and turnover in the stock is correspondingly low at the moment. However, investors paid AUD 0.20 in the IPO. Currently, the stock is trading at just under AUD 0.10 due to market conditions, valuing Allup at around AUD 8 million (including cash).
According to §34b WpHG and according to paragraph 48f paragraph 5 BörseG (Austria) we would like to point out that principals, partners, authors and employees of GOLDINVEST Consulting GmbH hold or may hold shares of Allup Silica and therefore a possible conflict of interest exists. We also cannot exclude that other stock letters, media or research firms discuss Allup Silica during the same period. Therefore, symmetrical information and opinion generation may occur during this period. Furthermore, there is a consulting or other service contract between Allup Silica and GOLDINVEST Consulting GmbH, which means that a conflict of interest exists, especially since Allup Silica remunerates GOLDINVEST Consulting GmbH for its reporting.