La Ronge Gold Corp. has entered into a binding letter of agreement for an option to acquire a 100 percent undivided right, title and interest in an approximately 520-acre prospective frac sand property located in northeast Arkansas.
The property is a greenfield frac sand exploration prospect underlain by the Ordovician St. Peter sandstone formation. There are several surface outcrop exposures of the St. Peter sandstone unit on the property.
The St. Peter formation is host to a number of producing frac sand mines/quarries, namely, Guion (Unimin), Crystal City, Pacific (U.S. Silica), Agusta (Hi Crush), Festus, Pevely, Alton, Ottawa (U.S. Silica), Kasota and Ottawa Township, all of which supply “Tier 1” quality frac sand (also known as “Northern White” or “Ottawa White Sand”) to oil and gas operations in the U.S.
Tier 1 frac sand specifications are set out in ISO 13503-2:2006/API RP 19C Recommended Practice for Measurement of Properties of Proppants Used in Hydraulic Fracturing and Gravel-packing Operations. These properties include sand sphericity and roundness, crush (K Value), acid solubility, turbidity and SiO2 content.
Tier 1 frac sand demand is on the rise in the U.S. and globally. Morgan Stanley's “Industry View” published Aug. 27, states “...we expect (frac) sand demand to nearly double (+96 percent) in 2016 vs. 2013, driven by 59 percent sand/well growth, vs. capacity growth of only 76 percent.”
Raymond James' “Global Research” published Aug. 19, states “...we foresee robust growth in North American sand demand over the next three to five years, with aggregate consumption expected to reach approx. 78 million tons by 2016, representing a approx. 22 percent CAGR between 2013 and 2016.”
La Ronge President and CEO Rasool Mohammad commented, “In view of recent advances in fracking technology, and the resultant increase in Tier 1 frac sand demand, we believe this opportunity will give La Ronge a potential to sell into the large southern U.S. oil and gas plays.”