The NSP will have a 25-year life of mine, for long-term supply of high-grade silica products to the global solar photovoltaic market.
Located in Far North Queensland near Cape Flattery, in the Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire, the NSP was recently designated a project of regional significance by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water.
That order allows Diatreme to apply in the future for a water entitlement for the NSP from Cape York's strategic reserve, at a price still to be determined for the life of the project.
Diatreme chief executive officer Neil McIntyre said the designation was an important regulatory vote of confidence in the NSP and its economic and social significance for the region, particularly the local communities of Hope Vale and Cooktown.
McIntyre said the NSP had the potential to become a highly valuable, long-term source of training and employment opportunities, investment, community development and other economic benefits.
"We look forward to working closely with all key stakeholders and the Queensland government to deliver this important community and economically vital critical minerals project for the future of Far North Queensland," he said.
NSP scoping study results
McIntyre said Diatreme continued to advance the regulatory approval process following the positive scoping study released on June 14.
That study showed the NSP could support a 5 million tonne per annum operation with net present value of $1.4 billion and pre-tax internal rate of return of 33%.