Thin Film Transistor Glass Sand
Thin Film Transistor (or "TFT") Glass Sand will comprise 11.6% of Specialty Sand products and 1.3% of all products produced by the Project at full production levels.
Silica with a high purity, i.e. very low iron and alkalis, has an important use in the computer and TV industries for the production of Thin-Film Transistors for use in plasma screens and liquid-crystal displays (LCD).
There is no Australian demand for this product. The current market in the North-East Asian region, however, is around 100,000 tpa, growing at 20% pa, with only minor sales in Europe and the USA. Current market price is AUD370-AUD485 per tonne. Currently, Index (Tasmania) is the sole Australian supplier of approximately 25,000 tpa of raw material to the North-East Asian Region, with the potential to double this amount. Index obtains the product from North-central Tasmania, trucks it to Burnie, processes it in a semi-autogenous mill and then ships it in bulker bags to Japan. The nature of the SCM deposit means that there is effectively a supply of this product at very close proximity to the Sydney ports with significantly lower transportation costs than a product from central Tasmania.
The fine quartz silt component of the refined Newnes Junction friable sandstone deposit is expected to yield a purity with the required specification of TFT and expected full production export sales are in order of up to 18,000 tpa.
As this is a relatively new export product for Australia, contingency of a year has been allowed to ensure optimum finished product quality, and to obtain suitable access to export markets. It is expected, therefore, that there will not be any production in the first year of the plant's operation, thus the zero sales target for Year 1.
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