, , , ,

Frac Sand Industry Group Loses Half Its Members In One Year

Sand Market Slowdown Cited For Companies Backing Out

Carol Mitchell (BY-NC-ND)

An association representing Wisconsin frac sand mining companies lost half of its membership in one year due to a market slowdown.

The Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association was formed in 2012 when demand for frac sand was beginning to skyrocket. Today, only two of the original four member companies remain.

A drop in demand for sand made it difficult for members to stay in the organization, said WISA President Marty Lehman.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Some of the folks have had to pull in and some of the folks have focused their operations in other areas right now, so they don’t have as much of a Wisconsin focus,” Lehman said.

That means fewer dues from member companies, which is forcing WISA to scale back operations, Lehman said. However, they’re still committed to representing what Lehman called the responsible sector of mining in the state.

“We’re still well connected with many members of the industry, well connected with many of the things that are going on with the Department of Natural Resources,” Lehman said.

Badger Mining, U.S. Silica, Unimin Corp. and Fairmont Minerals founded the organization, and Smart Sand joined in 2014. Currently, Badger Mining and Smart Sand remain.

Lehman expects membership will grow again when the U.S. oil market and demand for frac sand improves.