Sand dollars – another economic boom side effect from oil

July 30, 2012 07:54

[S]ilica sand mining growth has led to the creation of hundreds of regional jobs, both directly in the industry and through a ripple effect on related businesses. – Leader Telegram


By Eric Lindquist Leader-Telegram


A new industry continues to rise — quite literally — from the ground in west-central Wisconsin.

Officials from 12 regional counties reported the area now has a total of 52 silica sand mines that are either operating or approved.

That’s up 136 percent from 22 just a year ago and shows just how fast the sand storm is sweeping across west-central Wisconsin, which is home to plentiful deposits of a variety of sand prized in the rapidly growing energy extraction practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”


“This the biggest industrial expansion that I’ve seen here,” said Masterpole, who has worked for Chippewa County for 29 years. “It is just amazing.”


Masterpole predicted the demand for western Wisconsin sand will remain strong as long as there is demand for oil and natural gas, which he doesn’t see going away anytime soon.


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