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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • There’s been a lot of talk recently about how the frac sand industry will be affected by the recent drop in oil prices. But overall experts are saying frac sand miners shouldn’t be worried, there’s no evidence of a slowdown in Wisconsin, and it’ll take a lot more than a temporary drop in oil prices to change the demand for frac sand, despite a noticeable decrease in rail traffic, according to the Post Bulletin.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Select Sands Corp. has agreed to purchase the frac sand business of CanFrac Sands Ltd. for a purchase price of $3.5 million. Canfrac Sands produces 20/40, 40/70, 16/30, and 100 mesh sand. The corporation's quarrying operations and processing facilities are located near the city of Lloydminster in Saskatchewan, Canada.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Smart Sand Partners (SSLP) is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Hi-Crush Partners and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), with a record-breaking IPO. Like the previous two fracking sand MLPs, SSLP produces Northern White frac sand from sand mines and a processing facility in Wisconsin. Its integrated facility has on-site rail infrastructure and wet and dry sand processing facilities, enabling the delivery of approximately 2.2 million tons of frac sand per year. As of June 30, SSLP had approximately 217 million tons of proven recoverable sand reserves and 64 million tons of probable recoverable sand reserves.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The Houston County, Minn., board of commissioners revealed its proposed frac sand mining ordinance establishing a number of restrictions, limitations and environmental protections. The new ordinance limits the volume of sand that can be mined per year, requires mines to comply with a road use and maintenance agreement, and gives county officials the authority to issue environmental reviews. It also limits the use of explosives for blasting at mine sites and requires a pre-blasting survey for new mines, expanding mines or when mines change blasting procedures. Mines would also be required to submit a reclamation plan under the new ordinance, identifying a schedule and methods for refilling the mining site and re-vegetation of the area, according to the LaCrosse Tribune.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The Land Stewardship Project is proclaiming that 47 frac sand companies currently operating in Wisconsin were reviewed by their organization, and environmental violations and other abuses were found to be abundant. The violations outlined in the report include sediment and wastewater spills, air quality problems, and illegal drilling and construction. Rich Budinger, president of the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association, said there is an industry commitment to the environment, but issues around zoning and land use are a byproduct of new development or construction. Budinger also notes the industry has created thousands of jobs in Wisconsin, and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic growth.

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