To further encourage economic diversification, the potential of a new silica-based industry in Southland is being investigated.
While silica is a very common element, thought to be almost 28% of the earth’s crust - high purity silica of a suitable size for refining is not so common.
Silica deposits are widespread in Southland, and samples taken have identified the region to have a natural resource of high purity silica with an average of 99.37% purity.
This has provided evidence that Southland quartz gravel and sand deposits are of grade and quality suitable for silicon and ferrosilicon manufacture.
The quantity of silica content available in Southland is estimated to be in the order of 1000 million tonnes.
The development of a new industry based upon Southland's silica resources would encourage opportunities to develop high-value electronics and solar-grade polysilicon which would diversify and increase the value of the Southland economy.
The demand for easily accessible deposits of high purity silica is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, so industry development in this area would provide significant economic diversification and benefit to the region.
Venture Southland continues to investigate this option and have up-to-date information readily available for potential investors.