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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • A Texas based frac sand mining company is backing out of plans to develop a 1,600 acre mine and processing plant in Trempealeau County, Wis. Over the last year, Superior Silica Sands has been in the process of developing a plant between the cities of Independence and Arcadia. As part of the project, Independence annexed the property, but controversy about the plant ensued when two local cities filed a lawsuit. The company said it is stopping plans to develop the mine and processing plant due in large part to the low price of oil and low demand for frac sand, claiming the surrounding controversy did not play a role in its decision.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Superior Silica Sands (SSS) announced that it will no longer pursue the construction of a silica sand processing facility in Independence, Wis. “This was a difficult but necessary decision,” said Rick Shearer, chief executive officer of parent company Emerge Energy and SSS. “Given current economic conditions affecting the frac sand industry as a whole, as well as the specific mining and processing economics at Independence, we feel that the project is no longer economically viable.”

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The Chippewa County, Wis., board gave a nod of approval for a frac sand processing plant and rail facility, according to WQOW TV. The board unanimously approved re-zoning a piece of land in the Town of Bloomer to be used as a dry plant for White Haven Sands. The plant will be located on a nearly 100-acre parcel of land located between Highway 53 and County Road SS.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is inviting the public to provide input on the agency's most recent effort to assess the latest scientific, natural resource and socio-economic information relating to industrial sand mining and its infrastructure. “The department is conducting a strategic analysis on industrial sand mining in order to provide quality, factual information to the public and decision makers,” said Dave Siebert, Environmental Analysis bureau director. "We welcome the public's input in helping us determine what should be considered in the analysis." The public comment period for the scope of the strategic analysis runs through April 20. Go here to participate.

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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.
 

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