Rock Products - The Leading Voice of the Aggregate Industries.

This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Canadian National Railway Co. reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and boosted its dividend, but lagged its main Canadian rival in a key efficiency measure. CN Rail said it is aiming to increase shipments of crude oil and frac sand in 2015 despite a steep decline in the price of oil. "There's a lot of investments that are being made by our customers in the energy markets," said Chief Executive Claude Mongeau on a call with analysts and investors. But Mongeau added that "there will be uncertainty. The price is obviously a key factor." Canada's biggest railway said it moved 128,000 carloads of crude and 89,000 carloads of frac sand in 2014, and sees a combined increase of 75,000 carloads in 2015.

Read more: This Week’s Market Buzz

This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Despite concerns about falling demand for frac sand in light of the plunge in oil prices, state officials say they haven’t noticed any slowing of mining activity in Wisconsin, according to the Cap Times. Deb Dix of the Department of Natural Resources, the agency lead on industrial sand mining, said companies are continuing to press forward. “I have not seen any reduction at this time and from recent conversations with industry there are still a number of new operations which are working toward being able to begin production as quickly as possible,” she said. 

Read more: This Week’s Market Buzz

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.

Read more: This Week’s Market Buzz

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.

Read more: This Week’s Market Buzz

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.

Read more: This Week’s Market Buzz