With Asia-Pacific being the fastest growing silica sand market globally, a WA company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to supply high-grade silica to a Chinese manufacturer from its flagship project near Geraldton WA.

Perpetual Resources Limited (ASX: PEC) has signed an MOU with Guangdong Qinyin New Material Technology Co., Ltd, (Qinyin), covering indicative interest by the China-based company to purchase 400,000tpa of high grade silica from the Beharra Project, which is 96km south of Geraldton, WA, and 300km north of the capital city Perth.

Perpetual executive chairman Julian Babarczy said the company is pleased to be entering discussions with Qinyin regarding potential offtake for Beharra.

“Qinyin represents such a well-positioned and active participant in the silica sand and glass raw material input market in China,” he said.

“Demand from the photovoltaic/photoelectric glass industry in China is anticipated to grow significantly in coming years and our recent metallurgical test results show strong potential for Beharra to be a key participant in this exciting market.”

The Beharra Project covers 56.8km2 of land, with the potential to produce 1.5mtpa and a total of 48mt over the life of the mine.

Commissioning and production ramp up is expected in Q4 CY22 with the simplified production process including vibrating screens, hydrocyclone, spirals, WHIMS and up-current classified.

Qinyin is a purchaser, upgrader and supplier of silica sand and is a significant supplier of end product inputs to a range of high-end glass producers in China.

Silica sands has an extensive range of uses in the glass industry, foundry, hydraulic fracturing, filtering, abrasives, construction sand, proppant sand, semi-conductor fillers, LCD screens and optical glass.

The Asia-Pacific silica sands market is expected to grow by US$3b within the next 5 years with 40mtpa of extra high-quality silica sand required to fill the gap, according to the IMARC report “Asia-Pacific Silica Sand Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2021-2026”.