Work progressed late last year on a sand-processing plant in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The plant is expected to begin operating this summer.
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 10:00 pm
By Joe Knight
There is a gold rush of sorts occurring in the Chippewa Valley, but the mineral in demand is sand, not gold.
Sand in this part of Wisconsin has just the right properties to be used in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” for short, in which sand is mixed with water and other chemicals and injected at high pressure into shale deposits to extract natural gas.
The grains of sand keep small fractures in the rock open, allowing the gas to be pumped out.