A New Sand Frontier: Western Sands Utah

This article was written by Jen Casebier from Down Hole Trader. Burgex Inc. has been a primary consultant to Western Sands, LLC and provides claim staking services, preliminary sampling, and testing services.

Although we have been in a long stretch of lower oil prices, mergers, and company closures, someday sand demand will rise again.   The number of remaining projects that exist today could potentially fall short of meeting demand, when fracking takes off again.  While oil rigs have been falling, many frac sand mines have gone idle.  It was just a year ago that mines were selling out production capacity, there weren’t enough rail cars to get product moved, and alternative sands became very popular.At this point, it appears that the contraction in this sector of the industry is significant enough that short term capacity could create a bottleneck, limiting a full scale fracking recovery, if it meets or exceeds previous demand levels attained during our better times.  I believe that this is so important that it is worth dedicating a number of our newsletters to promoting a few sand projects that have significant potential for sourcing the next fracking run.  Without projects such as these, the capacity for profitable growth in this sector could be inhibited for everyone.

First, allow me to introduce you to the Mulhearn family.  Kevin and Sean have a project called Western Sands, LLC, which is located in Utah.  Yes, Utah.   This map shows where Cedar City is located in Utah, which is where the processing plant is located:

location of western sands facility Utah
Now, take a look at how centrally located this project is in proximity to New Mexico, Colorado, the Bakken, and even Texas.
Utah is a prime location for western sands new frac sand facility

Proppants can be shipped to major plays by truck or rail from this project. 

Cedar City to:
          Vernal, Utah:  360 miles
Albuquerque, New Mexico:  600 miles

          Casper Wyoming:  639 miles
          Denver, Colorado:  579 miles
          Midland, Texas:  1,009 miles
          San Antonio, Texas:  1,324 miles 
Eau Claire, Wisconsin to:
          Vernal, Utah:  1,318 miles
          Albuquerque, New Mexico:  1,309 miles
          Casper, Wyoming:  916 miles
          Denver, Colorado:  997 miles
          Midland, Texas:  1,292 miles
          San Antonio, Texas:  1,331 miles*This data was collected from Mapquest.

The project has a variety of benefits including:   

·      High Quality Tier 1 Frac-Sand  
·      Access to a less crowded UP rail line.
·      Vast resources (upwards of hundreds of million tons) of API grade sand
·      Surface level or very easy and cheap to mine unconsolidated 99.5% pure silica sand 
·      Western Sands has secured land and leases of approximately 15k acres of “Northern White” (or equivalent) high purity silica sand (99.5% silica)

·      Development plans have been prepared for a full state-of-the-art rail and trans load facility in Cedar City, Utah (UP).

Western Sands, has within its geographic reach, the delivered-to-the-wellhead capability of supplying proppants to all the Western shale formations at a cost competitive advantage.  It will supply trucking to the Uinta, Piceance, and San Juan basins, but the plant will also be in a superior location to supply by rail to the DJ Basin, Monterrey, Powder River Basin, Green River Basin, California basins and the Permian Basin plays.

The primary massive surface deposit in Kane county contains potentially hundreds of millions of tons of unconsolidated eolian sands, which will be easy and inexpensive to mine.  Processing costs will be at a minimum due to the clean and unconsolidated nature of this sand deposit with NO over burden, compared to other more costlier cemented sandstone deposits, which require much more blasting, crushing, grinding, screening, and attrition scrubbing. This premium deposit consists large sand dunes averaging 20-100 feet plus covering 13+ square miles. The initial target mining area is very close to major roads, power and water.

The different sand sizes available from this deposit have excellent K values:

 30/50 (7K),
 40/70 (9K) and
100 Mesh (10K)

Stim-Lab reports are available upon request.  With the growing trend towards the finer grade sands, demand for this supply will increase as oil and gas prices recover.  Major oil service providers and E&P’s have already expressed strong interest in using Western Sands’ proppants, once they are available. 

western sands tier-1 quality frac sand offers superior sphericity and roundness

Permitting in Kane County is not problematic.  It could be fully permitted in 6-9 months.  The sieve sand size distribution of the deposit * :

30/50              30%
40/70              65%
100 mesh       35%

* Based on preliminary sampling results-final results may vary.  Note: % exceeds 100%, because of size overlapping.

All pre-due diligence for the Western Sand operations has been completed by Turnkey Processing Solutions, Burgess Exploration (now Burgex Inc.),  Stim-Labs, American Proppants,  and Global Energy Laboratories.

If you have any interest in investing in this project, purchasing the project, or receiving lab reports to assess the product for use, please contact Sean Mulhearn,seanmulhearn@yahoo.com or 917-400-5548.

More information on projects to come!  If you have a project you would like to present through DownHoleTrader.com, contact us.

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