Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:05 AM
GENERAL METHODS FOR PROSPECTING AND EXPLORATION OF PROPPANT SAND SITES
The mining of hydraulic fracturing sand in Wisconsin has proliferated rapidly over the past 5 years as the state has significant deposits of sand that meet the rigorous requirements of the oil and gas industry. Viable deposits of sand must be of generally pure quartz, minimally cemented and be highly rounded and spherical. Significant exploration and testing is required to insure that the deposits on a target property will meet all ISO specifications and be usable. Common exploration techniques include local geologic analysis of outcrops, associated structural analysis, microscope review and testing followed by air rotary and typically rota-sonic drilling of likely viable sites. Economically viable sites must contain sand that meets all ISO requirements, are efficient to mine and process and be located at, or reasonably transport to, both a wet and dry plant with rail transportation. A widely used option is to have a wet plant at the quarry site and then truck material to a dry plant on rail. The most efficient option is to locate a viable quarry site near rail where a combination wet and dry plant can be constructed and eliminate truck transportation. The presenter will discuss an overview of exploration techniques and specification issues typically analyzed in exploration of sites as well as general economic viability assessments from his experience with the operation of 4 mines in Wisconsin and numerous exploration projects.