Sandstorm brings you updates on the frac-sand boom in Minnesota.

New mine OK'd between Eau Claire and Wabasha

Posted by: Tony Kennedy Updated: October 19, 2012 - 11:58 AM

Six hundred trucks a day could roll in and out of a new frac sand mine in the northern tier of Buffalo County, Wisc., with half the traffic headed toward Wabasha, Minn.

The permit approved this week is the seventh issued by the county's Board of Adjustment since June 2011.

The new 171-acre site is allowed to sort sand in a water-intensive process 24 hours a day. Three families own the land.

Glacier Sands Co. said 150 truckloads will go north daily to Eau Claire on State Hwy 37. Just as many trucks will roll south toward Wabasha on 37 and Wisconsin 35. Counting returns, that's 600 total truck trips.

“This is a testament to what open, honest and productive dialogue can produce,” said Wayne Steinmetz of Glacier Sands. He said the company wants to develop more mines in the area.

Buffalo County has a moratorium against sand mining applications that runs until May. The permit approved Wednesday was already in the pipeline. Glacier says the Mondovi area site will create about 40 jobs, not counting trucking.

Photo courtesy Minnesota Department of Transportation

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