AST Sand Mines’ Van Dykspruit quarry, on the border between Gauteng and Mpumalanga, on Friday declared its maiden quartzite-roadstone resource.
AST management also oversaw the inaugural blast that would provide access to the underlying high-grade quartzite rock.
The mine, which has been in operation since 2012, has, to date, been mining a surface-level resource of weathered sandstone to produce high-grade silica used in underground structural concrete.
The quartzite resource will be processed to supply roadstone to the nearby Moloto road corridor project, in KwaMhlanga.
AST MD Ian Ross noted that the company had developed the mine over seven years to become a fully operational quarry, “positioned to become a strategic supplier of roadstone and high-grade silica for the construction and infrastructure market in North and East Pretoria, [as well as] KwaMhlanga”.
The mine’s current production capacity is 30 000 t/m and it is delivering a 98% silica sand product.
An extensive drilling programme and high-resolution, low-frequency Loza ground-penetrating radar survey had been completed at the mine, Ross said, explaining, “we have been able to drill the quartzite resource with a high degree of accuracy”.
“This has allowed us to delineate the resource at a low cost. The recovered core has been confirmed as a high-grade roadstone and allowed us to optimise the design of the crushing circuits that will deliver the scope of material the market demands.”
The resource will meet East Pretoria and KwaMhlanga’s demand for roadstone for close to a decade, AST stated.
Ross noted that Van Dykspruit was now the closest operational quarry to Moloto and that the company was looking forward to working with its clients and partners to deliver value as the Moloto road development gets under way.