Rock Products

NOV 2014

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ROCK products • NOVEMBER 2014 16 The proposed facility, expected to be operational by this time next year, will consist of a series of new rail sidings of up to 7,169 ft. in length to accommodate trains loaded with sand from Wisconsin. Plans factor in the potential to add other sid‐ ings over time as needed, according to the companies' plans. The material is shipped in covered hopper cars. Two of the sidings planned for the project would have pits underneath where the sand would be dumped, then carried by a con‐ veyor system to 125‐ft.‐tall silos, from which trucks would load to take the sand into the field. Badger Mining's Tom Gonyo told Converse County commis‐ sioners last week that there should be minimal dust associ‐ ated with the operation. "There's a piece of equipment called a boot lift that seals the bottom of the car as you open door," he said. "All the convey‐ ors are enclosed, as are the bucket elevators and other equip‐ ment. The system will be designed with dust collection, including at the rail load out and the transfer point." The operation will require a DEQ air quality permit. Superior Silica Denies Pollution Allegations County officials in western Wisconsin have closed a frac‐ sand mine for allegedly dumping polluted wastewater into a pond that was properly lined. Trempealeau County regu‐ lators shut down the Guza Pit near Independence this week for operating without a permit. County zoning director Kevin Lien told the Minneapolis Star- Tribune that the silica sand mine could be fined. The county requires that certain polluted waters be dumped into a lined pond. The 1,600‐acre mine is run by the firm of Superior Silica Sands of Texas (SSS). SSS responded that it believes that a stop work order from the Trempealeau County, Wis., Department of Land Man‐ agement with respect to SSS's future Independence dry plant facility was issued by the county in error. SSS engaged in grading and excavating activities in the area with the in‐ tent to construct a dry plant to begin operations in 2015. The reported violations related to mining activities are at‐ tributable to a different operator who is currently engaged in frac sand mining in the area. SSS's Independence frac sand mining facility is not engaged in any mining activities at this time. The error in Trem‐ pealeau County's stop work order should not impact the current production process for SSS, and SSS is working with Trempealeau County to ensure the correct parties are sub‐ ject to the stop work order. Rick Shearer, president of SSS and chief executive officer of EMES, commented, "While we are disappointed with the re‐ ports that reflect the misunderstanding with the Trem‐ pealeau County Department of Land Management, Emerge Energy is still executing our growth plan. Our Thompson Hills mine and wet plant began operations last month and is already processing wet sand for our winter stockpile so that we can continue to supply our customers. Our dry plant at Arland, Wis., remains on schedule to start produc‐ tion this quarter. Further, we remain hopeful that our dry plant at Independence will start operations as early as the first or second quarter of 2015. Industry fundamentals re‐ main strong, and we have been able to sign additional multi‐year contracts since our last update in August. We now have 8.2 million tons under contract annually, with a weighted average remaining contract life of 4.2 years, which puts us well ahead of our contracting goals. We look for‐ ward to updating the investment community more in the coming weeks when we release our earnings." Declan, Opal Energy Strike Firebag Deal On Sept. 29, Declan Resources announced that Opal Energy has acquired the option to earn up to a 75 percent interest in Declan's Firebag River Property located southwest of the Athabasca Basin in northeast Alberta, Canada. "The Firebag property is an industrial mineral sand project," stated Declan President and CEO David Miller in an interview with Financial Press. "This can be a very profitable business. The frac sand lies on the surface, so it's relatively easy to scoop it up, wash it, screen it and put it into rail cars in one‐ ton bags. We are very excited about the partnership with Opal and the revenue potential of Firebag." The option agreement requires Opal to make exploration ex‐ penditures of $850,000 prior to Nov. 22, 2016. Opal is reim‐ bursing Declan's option payment, exploration expenditures and making a cash payment of $250,000 as well as issuing 4 million shares over a two‐year period to Declan. The end re‐ sult will be that Declan has no further cash obligations on the Firebag Property but still retains a significant material in‐ terest in it. The Firebag Property consists of six metallic and industrial minerals permits encompassing approximately 50,000 hectares. It is west of Fission Uranium Patterson Lake South

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