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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • At an open house on frac sand mining issues at the Howard Town Hall in Colfax, Wisc., organized by the Madison-based nonprofit group Midwest Environmental Advocates and local opponents of frac sand mining, community members spoke about the impact of mining on their lives. It is the first of three such meetings to be held in Western Wisconsin, according to the Leader-Telegram. Comments made at the meetings are to be forwarded to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to be considered in the initial “scoping” phase of what is to be a statewide DNR analysis of environmental and economic issues with frac sand mining. DNR staff has said the scoping phase for the study, which includes gathering public concerns from around the state, would be completed in March, said Kim Wright, director of Midwest Environmental Advocates.
  • White Haven Sands LLC wants the Town of Bloomer, Wisc., to grant it a conditional use permit for a silica sand-processing plant and a transload facility. The application by White Haven Sands was submitted before the Town of Bloomer put a one-year moratorium on silica sand mining on Dec. 17, 2014. The 92-acre parcel where the plant and loading facility is proposed is between Highway 53 and County SS. A railroad line runs next to the parcel. Sand mines operating in Chippewa County, Wisc., include: EOG Resources, with mines in the town of Howard and Cooks Valley; Preferred Sands, with a mine in Cooks Valley; Chippewa Sand Co., with a mine in the town of Cooks Valley; and Superior Silica Sands, with a mine in the town of Auburn, according to the Chippewa Herald.
  • Lower oil prices have impacted the operations of EOG Resources Inc., at a national level, and resulted in a slowdown of operations at its sand-processing plant in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., according to the Chippewa Herald. The reduced production levels have not impacted employment, a public relations manager for EOG told the paper, and she noted the company does not anticipate any staff reductions at the plant. Doug Titera, general manager of Chippewa Sand Transport, said the sand-hauling company has laid off some employees. He declined to specify the number, but said it was minimal in scope to the total workforce and said it was nothing out of the norm.