According to an article in the Winona Post, frac sand mining has proven to be a boom and bust industry in Trempealeau County, Minn. From creating scores of jobs and bringing in millions in revenues to idling plants – local frac sand companies’ fortunes have fluctuated with oil prices and competition. Since the pandemic crushed global demand for oil, the industry has been at one of its lowest points.
Hi-Crush, one of the largest frac sand mining companies in the region, shuttered its Whitehall mine earlier this year, permanently laid off 35 workers, and went through bankruptcy this year.
In neighboring Taylor, Wis., Hi-Crush and Badger Mining Corp. laid off a combined 70 employees. Another mine in Arcadia – owned by Canadian Silica Industries (CSI) – has also been idled, and the city commissioned a study to make sure the $722,000 the company set aside for mine reclamation is enough.