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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Despite concerns about falling demand for frac sand in light of the plunge in oil prices, state officials say they haven’t noticed any slowing of mining activity in Wisconsin, according to the Cap Times. Deb Dix of the Department of Natural Resources, the agency lead on industrial sand mining, said companies are continuing to press forward. “I have not seen any reduction at this time and from recent conversations with industry there are still a number of new operations which are working toward being able to begin production as quickly as possible,” she said. 
  • IFS, the global enterprise applications company, announced that Unimin Corp. has chosen IFS Applications to assist in optimizing its supply chain and global operations. To improve operational efficiencies, the company needed greater real-time visibility into its supply chain and to replace more than 10 outdated enterprise systems that consisted of various homegrown and off-the-shelf solutions. “Our pressing need was to get better control of our inventory and flow of materials,” said Tim Goris, Unimin’s director of project management. “It was also recognized as an opportunity for the company to replace some of our antiquated information systems. We ultimately chose IFS over the competition because of their experience and reputation in the mining industry, and the fact that IFS got its start on the asset side opposed to the finance side. This is important to us as we are an asset oriented company. Unimin hopes to realize improved efficiencies across the organization, starting with supply chain optimization,” he said.
  • According to PacWest Consulting Partners, 60 percent of sand companies’ business is now tied to fracking. Fracking companies have already been impacted by the recent drop in oil prices, but sand companies have yet to feel the effects of any downturn. Before the drop, demand in sand was predicted to steadily increase, but now PacWest experts expect demand to stay flat, it was reported in the Wall Street Journal.