Quartz is one of the most developed and used industrial minerals on the planet.
Quartz ore bodies and quartzites are the source of elemental silicon (Si). Depending on the raw quartz silicon high content (95% to >99% SiO2), and trace contaminants, an enriched quartz may have different industrial uses. The elements, boron (B) and phosphorous (P), are the most important contaminants to remove from the quartz intended for high-tech/ultra pure uses (photovoltaic or electronic).
Petrography and mineralogical analysis are needed to assess the amount of oxides which constitute impurities in the quartz (Si02). From petrography analysis, we know that most impurities are located into a muscovite.
Different avenues are open to exploit a high purity quartz deposit. In the last decades, high-tech applications using enriched quartz have evolved and the global supply does not follow the demand. United States, China, Spain, Norway and Australia are the most important producers of raw silica products.
3 categories of applications based on quartz grade
Quartz is used in a wide variety of applications, depending on its ore format and purity. It is the future of industrial minerals.
01. HPQ powders
The photovoltaic and electronic/semiconductor technologies utilize enriched quartz (initial purity of 99,5% to 99,99%+) that have been cleaned of impurities. The beneficiated quartz is manufactured for following purposes:
Electronics grade or semi-conductor silicium (EG) must reach a Si content of 9N and up.
Baie Johan-Beetz's exceptional quartz ore deposit (high grade 99.6% SiO² ) with low contents of Boron (0,2ppm) and Phosphorous (0,2ppm) has the potential to become a disruptive force in the HPQ market.
_Speciality glass & glass
02. Architectural applications
The architectural qualities of pure natural quartz are among the most popular among architects and designers. The strength and durability of quartz (7 on Mohs scale) make it a valuable product for both its class for its durability. But the Baie Johan-Beetz is at the top of the range because of its white milky aesthetic and mechanical properties.
03. Manufacturing residues
Metallurgical grade is often referred as silicon metal (Si-M or MG-silicium) ˃95 to 99% Si content. It is used in aluminum or cast iron alloys.High quartz content ore has to be crush and shipped to a silica plant in order to be used in numerous applications, such as :
The deposit has 54,22ha of a high-grade of SiO² content for the HPQ and very low impurity of FeO, B (0,2ppm) and P (0,2ppm). Adjacent and east of the deposit, we acquired 4 claims for an additional 141,26ha, not explore with great potential for several million tons.
Beside the size of the deposit, it is the raw quality of quartz that it contains that would allow to produce high purity silicon for a multitude of markets including solar (6N) and electronic grade (EG 9-11N).