Of all the frac sand proposals floating around in southeastern Minnesota right now, there’s one that could become a catalyst for large-scale mining activity. The Star Tribune traveled to St. Charles, Minn., to report on the plan by Minnesota Proppant LLC, a self-described group of “hunting buddies’’ who would build a $55 - $70 million frac sand processing complex as big as any in the country. You can read the story for details.
Many more hurdles would have to be cleared for the idea to take off, including financing. So who are these guys? For now, according to the City of St. Charles, Minnesota Proppant is comprised of eight men. Here are their names and bits of information about them.
- Stuart Hagen of Mondovi, Wisc., and Centerville, Iowa. The lead investor of the group is an avid outdoorsman and a former fisheries manager for the Wisconsin DNR who now operates a real estate business. His holdings include student rental housing around the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.
- Gunnar Hagen of Eau Claire, Wisc. Business associate and son of Stuart Hagen. Among other things, he and his dad specialize in buying and selling recreational real estate for Mossy Oak Properties of Wisconsin.
- Rick Frick of Houston, Minn. Has developed agreements with various rural landowners to mine frac sand that would be sent to the proposed facility.
- Jed Hammell of Caledonia, Minn. Lawyer who has worked on the project with Rick Frick and other group members. Married to Houston County Attorney Jamie Hammell, who has recused herself from frac sand matters in Houston County.
- Chad Nolte of Chatfield, Minn. Land surveyor and life-long resident of Fillmore County.
- Jon Nolte of Spring Valley, Minn. Spring Valley township supervisor and father of Chad Nolte.
- Ted Marum of Eau Claire, Wisc. Employed by Stuart Hagen. Work with Stuart and Gunnar includes consulting property owners in the Midwest on how to maximize their acreage for deer and turkeys.
- Mike Murphy of Winona, Minn.
A look down main street in St. Charles. Star Tribune Photo