Cristobalite will comprise 4.2% of Specialty Sand products and 0.5% of all products produced by the Project at full production levels.
Cristobalite is a high purity silica produced by the calcination, at high temperature, of selected and treated quartz grains. The heat-modified crystal structure is then stabilised by fast cooling. With its narrow particle size distribution, excellent optical properties, constant whiteness, and chemical inertness, cristobalite is a highly prized raw material in many industries, such as silicates, specialty plastics, coatings, precision-casting, ceramics, and many more. The refined washed silica sand from the Newnes Junction deposit will provide an optimum grade feedstock for the production of cristobalite.
There is only a very limited demand for cristobalite in Australia, and there is no current Australian producer. There does exist, however, a large export market into which the bulk this product would be directed. As such, SCM will export all production of this material. A contingency of a year has been allowed to ensure optimum finished product quality, and to obtain suitable access to export markets. Marketing aims, therefore, are to start in the second year of operation at 1,000 tpa with a steady increase to a maximum of 6,500 tpa.
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