This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Environmental group The Houston County Protectors offered the Houston County, Wis., board what the advocacy group described as a “thoughtful, balanced” amendment to the county’s mining ordinance. Representing the Protectors, Ken Tschumper in a statement said the proposed change to the county’s mineral extraction ordinance “resolves much of the controversy … by proposing two significant changes” – prohibiting frac sand mining and resolving problems with nonconforming mines.

  • No frac sand shipments have come through the Winonam, Wis., city harbor this year, owing to the slowdown of fracking across the Midwest and the country tied to falling gas prices, according to the Winona Daily News. The boom in sand shipments made 2014 a non-typical year, said Lucy McMartin, director of economic development for Winona. The silica sand, which was not shipped before 2010, went from 4,742 tons that year to peak at nearly 400,000 tons in 2014.
  • People in Chippewa County, Wis., had an opportunity to weigh in on frac sand mining in their county. The Department of Land Conservation held a public hearing on whether to approve a reclamation permit for Northern Sands. Northern Sands said it needs the permit to start working on a 1,310-acre frac sand mine in the town of Howard, Wis., northwest of Chippewa Falls. Northern Sands also presented its reclamation plan.

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