AllEnergy Sand: The Great Sand Rush
AllEnergy Sand is a mining company looking to harvest an underrated natural resource near Arcadia, Wisconsin. The state is marked by the shift in domestic energy production. The fracking explosion of the last four years has heightened demand for a simple product.
Sand. It’s not just something that feels good between your toes anymore.
Finely grained sand is worth its weight in gold to those with an interest in energy produced right here in the United States. The recent influx has been labeled the “sand rush” and is reminiscent of a different time when prospectors traveled West in search of fortune.
Fine silica is the key ingredient in hydraulic fracturing, a process yielding oil and natural gas from shale basins in select locations across the United States.
Sand is used to prop open tiny cracks made in the Earth during the fracking process. The tiny grains help expedite the release of methane gas trapped inside rock formations. The resource is then trapped and stored for further use.
Fracking is revolutionizing energy in the U.S. and sand mining companies are taking note. Domestic energy has created an economic boost in a country still desperate for jobs, local communities serving to benefit from the demand for reduced dependence on foreign oil.
Land owners sitting on silica rich deposits have, in some circumstances, avoided foreclosure and benefited from the cash crop of this millennium. The U.S. government estimates the country produces between 25-30 million metric tons of sand a year.
With returns on shale gas skyrocketing sand production is expected to grow.
AllEnergy Sand is a company planning a non-trucking mining operation in Trempleau County, Wisconsin. The fine quartz sand worn smooth over millions of years by the Mississippi River draws them to the area.
“It’s some of the best in the world,” AllEnergy Sand executive Mark Riley told the Christian Science Monitor.
Grains provided to the fracking industry by companies like AllEnergy are made of the perfect size, texture and consistency. Thousands of jobs have been created in Wisconsin alone, both in direct and indirect support of sand mining. The local tax base an additional benefactor.
In defense of those leasing their farmland to sand mining operations, Trempealeau County supervisor Tom Bice says landowners in Wisconsin deserve the right to do whatever they want with their land.
“I’m an advocate of people’s right to do what they choose to do, if it’s legal according to state statutes and rules,” Bice says. “The AllEnergy Sand permit is the best permit application ever submitted to Trempealeau County.”
While the coveted ingredient is found across the Midwest, Wisconsin is considered ground zero in the sand mining industry. Hundreds of companies have sprouted near Chippewa Falls, New Auburn and Arcadia, WI in recent years, boosting the economy and bringing national attention to the area.
Frac sand is composed of high quality quartz known for durability and round grains mostly composed of sandstone. The crush-resistant nature of the material is ideal to the fracking industry.
A singular fracturing site will require several thousand tons of sand, placing an increased importance on logistics. AllEnergy Sand meets that need through a unique conveyor and rail transport system that reduces environmental impact and delivers raw material to drillers.
Sand, a simple resource, influencing the U.S. energy debate. Who would have thought?
To read more about AllEnergy Sand visit the company on the web.