Metallica Minerals has signed a key agreement with Hopevale Congress Aboriginal Corporation as it prepares for drilling at its Cape Flattery silica project in Far North Queensland.
The company plans a program of up to 25 drill holes in the white silica sand dunes adjacent to the world-class Cape Flattery Silica sand mine owned by Mitsubishi.
It announced that it had signed a conduct and compensation agreement with Hopevale Congress, the trustee and registered owner of the land, following a number of positive meetings with the traditional owners.
Positive meetings had also been held with Walmbaar Aboriginal Corporation in Hopevale, whose clan country also covers the CFS project, the company reported.
“While we are yet to finalise Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Agreements
with both Aboriginal Corporations for future work requiring clearing, it is pleasing that we can shortly implement this maiden drilling program on the existing tracks,” Metallica executive chairman Theo Psaros said.
“COVID-19 impeded our discussions with the traditional landowners during the year so we are keen to start our program of exploration of the EPM.”
An augur sampling program completed in the last quarter of 2019 at the project confirmed the presence of high purity silica sands.
Diatreme project advances in face of booming demand
Diatreme Resources has also announced further progress on its Galalar silica project in the same region on Cape York, with the receipt of the final terms of reference for its environmental studies.
The company said a draft EIS was underway alongside continued engagement activities with stakeholders and the relevant State Government and Australian Government agencies.
“We welcome the feedback received on our Galalar Silica Project and will
be incorporating it into the next stage of the process,” chief executive officer Neil McIntyre said.
“A social licence has to be earned, not granted and we will be working as hard as possible to meet community expectations and deliver regionally on the project’s economic benefits.”
Diatreme is targeting receiving the final environmental approvals and Mining Lease in the fourth quarter of 2021, with potential first production in 2022.
The company said a shortage of glass for solar panels had seen a 71 per cent price increase in silica product since July, according to Bloomberg.
“Demand for premium‐quality silica continues to increase on the back of the solar energy boom in the Asia‐Pacific region,” Mr McIntyre said.
“Our Galalar project has the right product at the right time and we look forward to advancing its development to support the world’s cleaner energy future, while providing new jobs and other economic benefits
for the Hope Vale/Cooktown region and increased value for shareholders.”