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This Week’s Market Buzz

• According to Wisconsin Public Radio, despite increased competition from sand mines opening in other parts of the country, especially Texas, sand production is returning to higher levels in Wisconsin. "We're projecting a very good year this year which is going to bring growth to the state of Wisconsin as well as other areas like Texas and many other areas where industrial sand mining has been going on for many, many decades," said Rich Budinger, operations manager for sand company Fairmount Santrol and past president of the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association.

• U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement to sell three transloads located in the Permian, Eagle Ford and Appalachian Basins to CIG Logistics for $75 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this month, pending financing. The three facilities are located near San Antonio and Odessa, Texas, and Benwood, W.Va., and comprise approximately 70 thousand tons of storage capacity. As part of the agreement, U.S. Silica will continue to service customer needs through the transloads, which CIG will now own and operate.

• Fairmount Santrol announced that it has received notice from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR), as amended was granted in connection with its proposed merger with Unimin Corp. As previously announced, the combination of Fairmount Santrol and Unimin will create a transformational leader in proppant and industrial materials solutions. Expiration or termination of the waiting period under the HSR Act is one of the conditions necessary for completion of this transaction. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2018, subject to other customary closing conditions, including approval by Fairmount Santrol stockholders.