Covia to shutter four Midwest mines, cut production in Menomonie

September 28, 2018

Another U.S. frac sand producer has idled Midwest mines.

Covia announced Thursday that it has cut its proppant sand capacity by 3.3 million tons “in response to changes in market demand.”

That means a temporary halt to operations in Shakopee, Minn., and three other Midwestern mines as well as slowed output at three other mines, including one in Menomonie.

Proppant sand is used to hold open fissures in underground rock formations.

“As conditions within the proppant market remain dynamic, we are responding to ensure that Covia maintains its leading cost position,” CEO Jenniffer Deckard said in a statement.

The news comes one day after Hi-Crush Partners announced plans to idle its dry processing facility in Whitehall.

Deckard said Covia will continue plans to ramp up capacity at mines in Texas, which produce lower-quality sand but avoid freight charges, which can account for more than 65 percent of the cost for Midwest sand.

Covia is a publicly-traded company formed this summer by the merger of Unimin and Fairmount Santrol.

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