Athabasca Minerals Inc. announced the signing of a Term Sheet by its subsidiary, AMI Silica Inc., with an international industrial partner to pursue the Duvernay Silica Sand Project as a joint venture (JV) initiative. This JV initiative aims to co-develop and operate one of the greenest silica sand facilities in North America.
The facility would be located in Northeastern Alberta, Canada, offering unique synergies such as:
• Industrial land suitable for construction.
• Access to industrial utilities, including process water, power and heat recovery opportunities that bring distinctive environmental benefits.
• Access to transportation infrastructure that will broaden the economic distribution of product across Alberta and into Northeast British Columbia.
• Additional premium domestic sand deposits located in close proximity to the proposed industrial location, clear of residential areas.
• Long-term employment, support for local businesses, and a more substantial, diverse tax base for the province and local economy.
The parties will commence with Front-End Engineering & Development (FEED), scheduled to be complete in the first half of 2021. Assuming the project economic forecast remains compelling, construction and operations will follow. A forecasted operational target in the first half of 2022 is subject to approved amendments to existing industrial licenses, regulatory approval for nearby sand deposits, and ratification of commercial operating agreements.
The estimated 800,000-tpy silica sand facility is designed to provide products that serve various customers in the energy, construction and environmental sectors.
Robert Beekhuizen, CEO of Athabasca Minerals and president of AMI Silica, stated, “We are excited about the strategic merits of this project, and to have attracted the interest of a world-class Industrial Partner. In terms of market economics, the planned operation will mitigate Western Canada’s reliance on imported American sand by introducing Alberta-based, premium domestic sand at improved prices. Our green initiatives will minimize the environmental impact and carbon footprint, unlike any other silica processing facility we are aware of in North America. This project JV exemplifies our commitment to environmental, social and governance excellence. Most importantly, the project will be good for Alberta generating long-term jobs, contracts for local businesses and government revenues.”