A Minnesota Public Radio story today about the cost-competitiveness of natural gas contains an interesting detail.
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” requires sand (among other ingredients). And some of the best sand for fracking comes from a mine near Ottawa, in south central Minnesota.
The sand, known as Ottawa White, is sought after for its “exceptional properties in sphericity, conductivity, structural integrity, and crush strength,” according to a vendor’s website. In other words, it’s smooth, hard and ideal for breaking apart rocks.
Grey Lusty, a mining manager in Ottawa, told MPR that the sand is “sort of the Coca-Cola of the frack sand industry.”