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Thanks BSA for alerting me to this one!


Actually know the areas with regards to Silica and obviously the talk is for a techno park at Port Latta in the NW of Tassie which is not that far away from Marrawah! World's best Silica apparently comes from Tassie namely the West Coast particularly down past Savage River way (which is over Marrawah way) Bought options on Friday at average 7.7 cents. :biggrin: Do the usual as I hold.

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No worries. Thanks pop then.


The stock has the possibility of huge returns given what it's into and even without the Port Latta project could stand to make some profitable contracts for it's silica. The Marrawah and West Coast region has exceptional sands!! :biggrin: I don't anticipate the costings would be all that exorbitant to retrieve the silica and with a good likelihood of rail Smithton way and rail already in place down the West Coast I couldn't but help put my toes into the sand!!! :biggrin:


Holding with a view of high risk and high return outlook!!!

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Everything seems to be falling into place by their last announcement will go from a spec minerals explore to an industrial producer around the world can't get much better if it comes off. Also cash positive by end of year from this venture. :wub:
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A $500 MILLION silicon smelter to make the building blocks for solar panels may be built between Wynyard and Stanley.


Tasmanian Treasurer Michael Aird and Australia's senior trade commissioner to Germany met top executives from multinational chemical giant Wacker last week in Munich to discuss the project.

Under the proposal, Wacker Chemie Ag would build a silicon refinery at the Port Latta industrial site near Stanley, next to the existing Grange Resources iron magnetite pellet plant.


The plant would be the biggest silicon refinery in Australia, producing a much more sophisticated silicon metal product than the other major refinery in Western Australia.


Tasmania is attractive to Wacker -- one of the world's largest specialist silicon companies -- because of its rich untapped reserves of high grade 99 per cent pure silica, water for cooling, renewable energy from both wind and hydro-electric sources and natural gas to power its high-temperature furnaces.


Circular Head mayor Daryl Quilliam confirmed yesterday Wacker representatives had visited the region "two or three times" recently to canvass their silicon project with locals.


He said council staff had met with Wacker to discuss its key needs in building a new hi-tech silicon refinery at Port Latta.


"Wacker has talked with the council. Our reaction is that any development like this is very important to us and that we will do whatever we can to make sure we get this refinery project for Circular Head," Mr Quilliam said.


Mr Quilliam said discussions had focused on getting the silica from the Marrawah and Arthur River area, where it would be mined, to the proposed Port Latta smelter using existing road and rail options.


The proposed refinery would turn high-grade silica into pure silicon.


The thin sheets of polysilicon wafers produced would be exported to be made into photovoltaic cells to supply the fast-growing demand for solar energy panels in China and Asia.


Refined silicon can also be used in the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screens of computers and TVs, in the manufacture of fibre-optic cables to carry high-speed broadband telecommunications and to make silicon chips that power computers.


Mr Aird, who spent $50,000 last week on a taxpayer-funded trip to Europe to talk to the Wacker board, has said the project would provide "hundreds of jobs".


He refused to discuss the project yesterday, despite being asked to confirm in Parliament that his mystery "manufacturing plant" mooted for the North-West Coast was a silicon mine and refinery.


He said discussions between the Government and the unnamed company were still "very sensitive", with the proponent still looking at two other locations.


"There are commercial-in-confidence reasons for the company not wanting to canvass the issues at this stage," Mr Aird said.


Greens leader Nick McKim had asked Mr Aird to confirm the "open secret" that the foreign investment project was a silicon refinery. Mr McKim demanded to know if a value-adding manufacturing plant would be part of any industrial smelter.


He also asked what incentives the Government was promising Wacker, if heavily discounted electricity prices were part of the package and where the timber needed in the chemical process to convert silica to silicon using charcoal was to be sourced.


"This may well be a good project which Tasmanians can be proud of, but can you provide an assurance that this will not be yet another divisive proposal which will rip the Tasmanian community apart, as Gunns Limited's pulp mill has," Mr McKim asked.


Wacker wants the Tasmanian and Australia governments to provide it with incentives before it makes a final decision.


Mr Aird met last week with federal Industry Minister Kim Carr in Melbourne to discuss a support package.


He said federal and state assistance would focus on the provision of infrastructure such as roads, rail and port facilities, and on skills training.





THE State Government could reopen two branches of its rail network if a silicon smelter is built on the North-West Coast.


Treasurer Michael Aird is investigating reopening the Derwent Valley rail link between New Norfolk and National Park for high-grade silica mined near Maydena to be taken by train to a proposed refinery at Port Latta.

The Government also wants to assist Wacker Chemicals by ensuring silica quartzite rock mined on the West Coast at Macquarie Harbour and Marrawah can be carried on rail, using the Rosebery line and by resurrecting the defunct Wiltshire track between Burnie and Smithton.


At the same time, the Federal Government is considering offering a free upgrade of the Port Latta deep-water jetty and port facility to help attract the Wacker smelter project.


Wacker is considering building a new $500million silicon smelter near Wynyard because of the availability of high-grade silica deposits, wood waste for charcoal, natural gas to fire its smelters and renewable energy from wind power at Woolnorth.


The pure silicon metal produced would be refined into thin polysilicon wafers at the Port Latta industrial estate, before being exported for manufacture into photovoltaic solar panels.


Port Latta jetty is designed to carry iron pellets on conveyor belts to load onto bulk ore carriers for the neighbouring Grange Resources magnetite plant.


Wacker wants access to a container loading facility to ship its delicate silicon wafers in pallets overseas.


In Parliament yesterday, Mr Aird refused to discuss whether he had offered Wacker a cheap long-term power deal to locate its refinery at the Port Latta industrial site, west of Burnie.


He would not answer questions in Parliament about whether value-added processing would be part of the deal or how many jobs the project could create.


The Treasurer committed to make public any financial or in-kind assistance given to Wacker by the Government.


"If the Government offers any infrastructure support or any financial support to this project then it will be absolutely transparent," Mr Aird said yesterday.


"(Wacker) understand that, and that should satisfy the Greens' interest in terms of power prices, resources and other things that they want to speculate on."


Greens leader Nick McKim demanded to know why the Government was determined to keep details of the Wacker smelter project and its discussions with the German company so secret.


Mr McKim said the public had a right to know if the charcoal needed in the chemical smelter process to convert quartzite to pure silicon would come from logging of native forests in the Tarkine, south of Burnie.


"Will you guarantee that there will be a genuine manufacturing plant associated with this project or are you dishonestly referring to this smelter as a manufacturing plant," Mr McKim asked.


"Secondly, is it intended to power the project by cheap electricity delivered by a secret bulk power contract (and) could you please at least attempt to justify any commercial-in-confidence claims you may make in support of not answering that question?"


Mr Aird pledged the Government would pursue the silicon smelter "to the very end".


But he said he could not divulge the type of inducements and deals needed to convince the German company to locate its newest silicon smelter in the North-West.


"If any proposal is to be successful in this state, it is about building a relationship with the company to ensure that we put our best foot forward in trying to achieve some success with this project," Mr Aird said.


"We want to work with the company. I have given a commitment to the company that I am not going to publicly discuss the details of the proposal and I am going to maintain that trust."


Forestry Tasmania confirmed yesterday that it had held discussions with Wacker about supplying it with large amounts of timber products over the long term to make into charcoal.


Corporate relations manager Ken Jeffreys said no one from Forestry Tasmania had attended the high-level meetings between Mr Aird and Wacker executives in Munich last week.


Mr Jeffreys confirmed Forestry Tasmania had discussed supplying wood waste from logged coupes all over Tasmania to the silicon project that would otherwise be burnt in autumn regeneration burns. :)


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Yes some great older articles to read and really makes this one interesting. Just added a few more to my MHMO stable at 9 cents this morning.


NW Coast people are more likely to embrace a project of this kind in their neck of the woods as opposed to GUNNS current situation in the Tamar Valley. Wacker are an interesting mob to Google as well. All is good at this point and will be magnificent if it all comes to fruition. Remember the Silica is of premium quality down here so I am quitely confident that this deal could come through. My share mates from down this way are also buying. Please DYOR as holding. :biggrin:

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