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Silica prospect sparkles for Allup in WA

Allup Silica is seeking to prove up another silica prospect at its Pink Bark project, 110km from the port of Esperance in Western Australia.

A total of 15 surface samples were collected during a recent reconnaissance field trip to the tenure after signing access agreements with local landholders. The samples were taken over two separate traverses to determine the lateral extents of a corridor of sand identified by previous owners, Triton Gold, in 2009.

In its hunt for the precious yellow metal, Triton Gold did not assay the transported overburden, concentrating on the riches that lay beneath. The company did, however, record the thickness of prospective sand units identifying a corridor that extends to depths of 14m and covers the 5km width of the tenure.

Encouragingly, initial analysis of the surface samples has returned silicon dioxide grades ranging between 93.43 per cent to 98.82 per cent, with iron oxide levels between 0.08 per cent to 0.95 per cent.

Further test work is underway by mineral processor Nagrom in a Perth-based metallurgical laboratory to determine the potential for the sands to clean up into a suitable silica sand product.

The Company is excited by the potential these initial results indicate, and we hope that after the metallurgical results are received we will be in a position to ‘push the go-button’ on the planned drilling program. Whilst it is early days, these results show promise, and it is an exciting starting point for the company’s exploration in this area.

Allup is in the midst of obtaining government regulatory approvals as it gears up to drill test the Pink Bark sands project later this year, following the results of the preliminary metallurgical test work.

The Pink Bark project rounds off a quartet of strategic high-purity silica sand projects the company has amassed in WA in its quest to stake a claim as a prominent player in the silica sands sector. Key elements of the projects are location for ease of trucking to regional ports, high purity silica and low levels of impurities, such as iron.

Of its four silica projects, Allup has already defined a resource at its Sparkler project, about 200km from the port of Albany in WA’s Great Southern region. That project houses an inferred JORC mineral resource estimate of 73 million tonnes at an average grade of 96.6 per cent silica.

High-grade silica sands are largely utilised in the automobile, electronics, and photovoltaic or solar panel industries and they are also a critical component in the production of high-end glass.

Interestingly, demand for the bulk industrial material is gathering momentum with recent advances in the lithium-battery technology sector demonstrating the addition of high-grade silica has the potential to boost the endurance of lithium-ion batteries.

With a cool $5 million in the coffers courtesy of a fully subscribed IPO listing last month, Allup has a tactical exploration strategy to spend about 2 years building its resource base and conducting a pre-feasibility study, with the aim of developing its assets into mining operations shortly after.

Traditional markets, including the growing solar panel industry, will no doubt be the primary benefactors of Allup’s high-quality silica products. However, two-years in the fast-paced technology world may provide the cherry on the top for the Perth-based explorer.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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