This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Victory Nickel Inc. hired D. Brent Lock as vice president, marketing. Lock brings extensive marketing experience to Victory Silica. He has spent the past five years as vice president operations/marketing and general manager with Canfrac Sands Ltd., a Calgary-based frac sand producer with operations located near Lloydminster, Sask. Lock will be responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies and managing customer relationships in support of Victory Silica’s goals to begin frac sand sales in 2013 and to become a leading supplier of high-quality frac sand products in Canada.

  • Goodhue County, Minn., commissioners voted to extend the county’s moratorium on frac sand mining by 180 days when the current ban expires next month. Minnestota Public Radio said the vote comes following a $73,000 study on silica sand mining and the county’s policy options. The committee that completed the study recommended against extending the county’s ban, but two of the county board’s five commissioners have expressed concerns over silica sand mining. In June, commissioners approved an ordinance that would allow limited frac sand mining, and those rules could take effect when the moratorium expires. The state Legislature this spring made it possible for local governments to extend their mining bans. Some Goodhue County residents have said more studies are needed to assess the affect of mining on roads, safety and quality of life.
  • Dakota Plains Holdings Inc. and UNIMIN Corp. are building a frac sand storage and transloading facility at the Pioneer Terminal in New Town, ND. According to the Oil and Gas Financial Journal, the new facility will have a throughput capacity of approximately 750,000 tons per year. Construction is now underway and operations are expected to commence by January 2014.The new terminal will supply energy service companies with frac sand sourced directly from UNIMIN’s newest and largest proppant production facility in Tunnel City, Wis. The sands will be transported on Canadian Pacific’s rail network. Under the terms of the agreements between the parties, UNIMIN will provide a direct marketing service to oilfield service companies and fund the construction of four new ladder tracks and a sand storage and transloading facility. The facility will include 8,000 tons of fixed storage, twin high-speed truck loadouts, and track capacity for 70 loaded railcars. 
  • A proposal for a frac sand mine near Arcadia, Wis., was approved by the town of Arcadia board, according to WXOW television. The board voted 2-1 to approve the proposal of All Energy silica for a conditional use permit. The permit is for mining sand that is used in the fracking process. Attorney Bruce Brovold of Arcadia says the town board will meet to put together the conditions that the town will place on the conditional use permit. The proposal gives local farm land to All Energy silica for fracking. Three local farmers would give about 80 acres each. Some of the property of the future mine belongs to local farmer who says mining will help his farm.

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