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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The Winona County, Minn., board of commissioners voted to hold a public hearing Oct. 13 on a compromise ordinance forwarded by the county planning commission. The planning commission proposal does not call for a ban on industrial sand production in the county, as called for in the proposal presented to them for consideration. Instead, it limits the number of industrial sand mines allowed to operate in the county to six at any one time and limits the extent of each mine to no more than 40 acres. The proposed ordinance would subject industrial sand mines to additional environmental and operational regulations, according to the Winona Daily News.

  • Clayton County, Iowa, supervisors have given initial approval to the expansion of a Pattison Sand Co. sand-mining operation, according to Radio Iowa. The board unanimously voted to rezone 746 acres near Clayton, Iowa, from agricultural to heavy industrial use. The rezoning requires at least one more reading and affirmative board vote to take effect. The board imposed five restrictions, including that the company would be responsible for any water well damage that could be attributed to the mining.

  • Fairmount-Santrol provides interesting data on increased proppant usage. U.S. wells have seen a rise in proppant intensity. By the end of 2016, the average horizontal well will use between 8.5 and 9.5 million lbs./well. This would be an increase of 25 to 30 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015. Lateral length could be a big factor as it was last year, but “we think the increases have been attributed to enhanced completions in 2016,” commented Michael Filloon, writing for Seeking Alpha. He also commented, “If the market starts to pick up some there is no reason to believe that frac sand prices can’t go up at least 50 percent.”