DIATREME Resources continues to expand its silica sand resource base, with new exploration drilling under way throughout the company’s northern resource project (NRP) area in Cape York.
The drilling is selectively testing extensions to dunes with low impact exploration activities.
This includes the involvement of a number of Aboriginal clan groups, assisting in field programs within their respective clan areas.
The move follows recent success in discovering a second, high-grade silica sand resource within the northern area of the Cape Bedford tenement area.
Diatreme says it is now building an extensive knowledge base on the dune systems located within the NRP area, adding to the established silica sand resource at the Galalar Silica Sand Project.
“Our immediate priority remains the delivery of the Galalar Silica Project in the southern part of our tenement area, which we are currently advancing through permitting and approvals towards mining,” Diatreme chief executive officer Neil McIntyre said.
“However, our late 2021 and early 2022 northern exploration programs have allowed us to advance quickly on resource assessment and project development planning on our northern tenement area, with the potential for multiple mining operations of high purity silica.
“Working in partnership with the Traditional Owners, these new discoveries will only further enhance the potential of our projects to deliver long-term benefits to all stakeholders, including new jobs and regional investment, while positively contributing to the decarbonisation of the global economy.”
Diatreme has commenced assessing infrastructure options, environmental permitting and associated planning towards a development plan for the NRP.
Meetings with government and the state-owned port authorities have commenced along with meetings with regional stakeholders to examine and advance areas for mutual co-operation. Further progress towards the lodgement of mining lease applications (MLAs) and associated infrastructure leases is anticipated in the coming months.
Diatreme says its minimised footprint mining and processing plant solutions, combined with progressive supported rehabilitation will also be applied in the NRP, aimed at delivering a low impact standalone operation.
In the latter half of 2021, Diatreme targeted the extensive dune systems located to the north of the McIvor River and west of Cape Flattery.
The exploration area covers in excess of 150km2and includes several major identified dunes.
The NRP dune systems are accessed by established public roads and landholder access tracks.
Marine access supporting exploration activities is also possible.
Diatreme has established an exploration base at Starke near the McIvor River to service the exploration. Mr McIntyre said logistical challenges were well managed, and the exploration had continued through the wet season with periodic delays.
Diatreme utilises specialised drilling equipment designed to have a low impact and delivers solutions on accessing undulating dune terrains.
The equipment facilitates rapid movement between shallow drill holes, optimising field activities with minimised vegetation disturbance.
Exploration teams include Indigenous personnel from local clan areas, undergoing training on drilling and exploration, while also completing daily cultural heritage monitoring.