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This Week’s Market Buzz

•    Ryan Carbrey of Houston-based energy research firm Rystad Energy said shale energy deposits in North Dakota and Pennsylvania still rely on Northern White sand, while pointing out that in the Upper Midwest, mines with the annual capacity of 18 million tons of frac sand have already been idled this year, and that number may rise to 30 million tons by the end of 2019. Frac sand operations in Texas and Oklahoma are currently meeting most of the needs in the Permian Basin.

•    The Kanab, Utah, city council debated the sale of water to the Southern Red Sands frac sand mine at Red Knoll and the potential negative impact of the mine itself. Comments from the public were all against the sale. One commenter quoted Hugh Hurlow from the Utah Geological Survey, who said in an e-mail, “We did not consider recharge, other ground water withdrawals, possible impact on Kanab Creek or implications for long-term life of the aquifer. All of these issues and more could be addressed in a longer study.” When asked if the city had asked for this longer study, Mayor Robert Houston responded, “As of right now, no.” Council will vote on the issue July 9.

•    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) currently is accepting nominations until July 1, for the Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Award for Industrial Minerals. According to the Industrial Minerals Association – North America, NIOSH has not received any nominations to date. While NIOSH is not compelled to recognize a recipient in any given year, not having received any nominations to date suggests that anyone who submits a nomination stands a very good chance of being favorably considered for the award. This is a prestigious award. If your company or one of its operations recently has implemented an innovative technology or process to address, and hopefully resolve, a safety or health challenge, you should consider self-nominating. More information on the award and the nominations process can be accessed here.