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Mid West Ports Authority and Perpetual Resources sign joint co-operation agreement over silica sands project

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Kate CampbellGeraldton Guardian
An agreement has been struck that could help open up a new export industry in the Mid West, involving 1.5 million tonnes a year of high-grade silica sand potentially being shipped through Geraldton Port.
Camera IconAn agreement has been struck that could help open up a new export industry in the Mid West, involving 1.5 million tonnes a year of high-grade silica sand potentially being shipped through Geraldton Port. Credit: Mid West Ports Authority/RegionalHUB

An agreement has been struck that could help open up a new export industry in the Mid West, involving 1.5 million tonnes a year of high-grade silica sand potentially being shipped through Geraldton Port.

The Mid West Ports Authority has signed its second joint co-operation agreement with resources companies in as many weeks, with the latest being with Perpetual Resources over its flagship asset, the Beharra project, 96km south of Geraldton.

It comes as another agreement was struck with Australian Vanadium Limited about Geraldton Port being its preferred site to export its vanadium coproducts in the future.

With the Perpetual deal, the MWPA has agreed to “co-operate to investigate the potential for 1.5 million tonnes per annum of capacity for Beharra high-grade silica sand exports” from Geraldton Port.

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An announcement to the ASX states this is an interim agreement and does not guarantee the company port capacity, but paves the way for discussions to take place over the next 12 months.

MWPA acting CEO Damian Tully said: “We look forward to working with Perpetual to explore the potential capacity required to facilitate the Beharra high-grade silica sand project. This project is one of many which identified significant export growth potential of planned projects in the Mid West region.”

Perpetual chairman Julian Babarczy added: “We see Beharra as ideally positioned to play a pivotal role in an exciting new potential export industry for Western Australia and the Mid West region.”

Beharra’s mining lease covers an area of 10.4sqkm, with heavy mineral sands mining and natural gas production occurring to the south and lime sands mining to the west. Testing and studies have indicated the presence of extensive, high purity silica sands at the project site.

Higher purity silica can be used in glass making.

The company told the ASX that it is “targeting the high growth Asia Pacific silica sand markets, where independent market assessments have calculated a 40mtpa incremental market growth opportunity through to 2026.”

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