Rock Products

JUN 2019

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62 • ROCKproducts • June 2019 FRAC SAND INSIDER A multi-year study of groundwater use in Chippewa County, Wis., shows that stream levels can be negatively impacted by frac sand mining and irrigated agriculture, according to researchers from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which partnered with Chippewa County, sand mining companies, farmers and other stakeholders to measure potential impacts to groundwater in the county. The study was based on data gathered between 2011 and 2014, as well as predictive com- puter modeling. According to a report by Wisconsin Public Radio, the results show that around 3 billion gal. of water is used each year in western Chippewa County. Of that demand, 70% came from irrigated agriculture, 22% came from public wells and 6% came from existing frac sand mines. That 3 billion gal. demand represented about two percent of the total ground- water flow through the study area. The causes of these potential impacts were twofold. Mike Parsen, of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, said that while high-capacity wells at mine sites pulled from the aquifer, mining activity itself reduced the amount of rainwater that could make it into the groundwa- ter supply. "What we found is that early on what you're doing is you're stripping off native vegetation and typically, there's a lot of truck activity, dozers and earthmovers on site that are moving ground as they're working into the mine," said Parsen. "And that tends to decrease infiltration due to compaction and just the change of that land-use cover." After frac sand mining is completed, companies are required to reclaim their sites by recontouring the land and develop- ing it into either farmland, forest or prairie. Paul Juckem, of USGS, said he and other researchers focused on prairie restoration and studied how well water penetrated former mine sites. Deckard Out as Covia President Covia announced that Richard Navarre, chairman of the board of directors, has been appointed interim president and chief executive officer. Navarre succeeds Jenniffer Deckard who has resigned as president, chief executive officer and as a member of the board of directors following the board's decision to take a different leadership direction. Deckard will serve as a consultant to the company for an interim period in order to help ensure a smooth transi- tion. The Covia Board has engaged a leading national search firm to conduct the search process to identify a perma- nent CEO. "I'm honored to accept the role of interim president and CEO during this important transformational time for the company and I look forward to accelerating the execution of our strategy," said Navarre. "I know the company and its manage- ment team well given my tenure on the board and am confident in our future success. Covia has high-quality assets serving attractive markets in both the Industrial and Energy segments and is supported by a blue chip customer base and most importantly, a highly talented team. These strengths are the founda- tion for long-term success and in the near term, we will drive shareholder value by optimizing the performance of our assets, maximizing free cash flow and reducing debt." Navarre continued, "On behalf of the board, I want to thank Jenniffer for her extraordinary contributions over her career at Covia and its predeces- sors. Jenniffer played an instrumental role in the creation of Covia, and has helped navigate the organi- zation through a transformative merger during challenging market conditions." "It has been a true privilege to lead the dedicated team at Covia since our successful merger and I am proud of all that we have accomplished in combining and integrating Fairmount Santrol and Unimin to establish Covia as an industry leader," said Deckard. "I look forward to seeing Covia con- tinue to grow and I am confident that Covia is well positioned to leverage its scale, capabilities, and excellent product offerings to serve the diverse needs of its customers and drive enhanced value for its shareholders." Does Frac Sand Mining Impact Stream Levels?

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