Allup Silica eyes 1.2-billion-tonne kaolin exploration target

Allup Silica (ASX:APS) has outlined an exploration target of 700 million to 1.2 billion tonnes of kaolin at its Pink Bark Project near Esperance, Western Australia.

The grade of the exploration target ranges from 17% to 20% aluminium oxide, and has been tracked over two tenements.

Silica and rare earth element (REE) drilling mapped kaolin over a sizable area of 69km2, which ranged in thickness from 5m to over 20m. 

According to Allup, eight kaolin composite samples were initially collected and analysed for kaolin quality using XRF methods. 

To improve the understanding of the target’s potential, the remaining 56 samples have been submitted. Assays are expected during the current quarter.   

Taking into consideration the size and proximity of Pink Bark to the Esperance Port, characterisation studies are being scoped to determine the quality and marketability of potential kaolin products from the samples gathered. 

Allup will consider further aircore drilling if characterisation testwork is positive. 

Drilling at Pink Bark was conducted by Wallis Drilling in November 2023 using a Mantis 200 rig. A total of 41 holes were completed, each averaging 20m for a total of 823m.  

Managing Director Andrew Haythorpe says the presence of a thick kaolin zone under shallow cover presents a “very interesting opportunity”.  

“While our initial focus was silica sand, the recent discoveries of REE clay-hosted deposits in the region prompted us to investigate this exciting REE potential at Pink Bark,” Haythorpe says. 

“The Biranup zone is rapidly gaining recognition for its rare earth potential. Moving forward, we will have a closer look at the kaolin, including characterisation studies to determine its quality and potential value. 

“If these findings are encouraging, then the company will consider targeted aircore drilling to refine the exploration target and develop a better understanding of the full value potential of this deposit.”

The Pink Bark Project sits in the Albany-Fraser province’s Biranup zone, north of Esperance. 

Allup Silica acquired the tenement to explore and develop silica sand, however, recent discoveries of clay-hosted REE deposits in the area prompted Allup to consider the potential of such deposits on its tenement. 

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Allup Silica
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.