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Minnesota Companies Apply for Mining Permits


According to the Winona Daily News, four landowners in Buffalo County’s town of Dover have applied for permits to mine and process frac sand on 359 acres over the next 20 to 30 years.

River Valley Sands LCC would mine 226 acres off State Hwy. 121 and use conveyors to move sand to a 133-acre sand washing plant. It plans to haul 1.44 million tons of sand a year, using 50 trucks to haul 200 loads a day on a planned primary route of State Hwy. 121 to State Hwy. 93 to State Hwy. 54/35 to Winona. A secondary route would send the sand to Wabasha.

River Valley Sands paid a $13,500 application fee to Buffalo County under a new sliding fee scale based on mining acreage. It is the highest permit fee recorded in the county.

The company says the proposed operation is compatible with existing land uses, and reclamation plans would return mined land to agricultural use with steep slopes reduced to gradual slopes to make them more suitable to farming and erosion control.

Site machinery would include backhoes, dozers, front-end loaders, conveyors, trucks and activities would include blasting, excavation, crushing, screening, washing, stockpiling and loading.

River Valley Sands has proposed mining in 15 phases, to begin in 2013 and finish between 2033 and 2043. Proposed operations would run Monday through Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. during daylight saving time and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the year.

A wet processing plant located on the Powers property would operate around the clock. The plant would require a high capacity well capable of pumping 500 gallons per minute.

The permit is currently advisory review by the Dover Town Board and has been examined by the Buffalo County Highway Department. Once Dover has weighed in, the Buffalo County Land Resources and Zoning Committee will review the permit. The Buffalo County Board of Adjustment will have final say on the project.