Tough Times for Wisconsin Mining

April 3, 2015


The mining industry is facing challenging times in Wisconsin. Crude oil prices dropped earlier this year. The impact was apparently felt by frac sand companies in the state.


Last month, one sand hauling company announced it would be laying off 55 workers. The layoffs will go into effect in May. The company sent a letter to the state’s Department of Workforce Development, saying the job cuts were the result of a “decreased need for sand hauling services in the near future.” The company is keeping the door open on some laid off employees possibly returning at some point.


Wisconsin has been the site of more positive mining news in recent years. There was a surge in surface mining operations with the discovery of large-grained silica in western Wisconsin. This type of sand is coveted by oil drillers.


Large-grained silica sand is mixed with water and chemical before being ejected into wells at high pressure. This process is designed to force out hard-to-reach deposits of oil and natural gas. You may know this process by another term: Fracking.


According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, more than 135 companies are involved in mining, processing or hauling sand. Wisconsin is the nation’s supplier frac sand.


This means there is a need for safe, reliable mining equipment. A.M. King has been providing quality used mining equipment since 1979.