Work in Progress
Sand mine is on schedule to open next spring in Miller County
“The key is being located on a good sand deposit, and we still feel like we have located an ideal location for this type of operation.” —Ryan K. McMaster, Performance Proppants
Performance Proppants of Shreveport, La., remains on schedule to open a Red River sand mining operation by March 1 near Doddridge, Ark.
“We are very close to completing all dirt work. Two of the silos have been built and steel structure for the screen house is nearing completion,” said Ryan K. McMaster, director of sales and business development for Performance Proppants.
He believes the company made the right decision to develop the plant on Miller County Road 4.
“The key is being located on a good sand deposit, and we still feel like we have located an ideal location for this type of operation,” McMaster said. “We are on track for our March 1 start date.”
“Our general contractor handles all of the construction and has plenty of people in place,” McMaster said.
The Red River sand will be used in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to extract natural gas from the earth.
The mining process includes dredging, washing, drying, sizing and storing the finish product in silos, similar to bins used to store grain.
Almost 100 percent of the Red River sand will be hauled to Northwest Louisiana and East Texas for use in the Haynesville Shale Wells, according to Performance Proppants.
Miller County has helped the com-
pany regarding road access by making improvements to Miller County Road 4, which is used to access the mine.
“The county completed the County Road 4 improvements back in August,” McMaster said.
Road crews widened 2.5 miles of County Road 4 to allow trucks to haul the river sand.
The county used $39,000 worth of tar oil to spread on the road and $10,000 worth of pea gravel, Miller County Judge Roy John McNatt said.
The tar oil and pea gravel strengthen the road bed.
Performance Proppants also signed an agreement with the county to maintain the road.
The estimated truck traffic over County Road 4 will be about 200 trucks a day, seven days a week and 24 hours a day.
The company will employ about 35 people at the Doddridge mine site. Working two 12-hour shifts, employees will be paid $1622 dollars per hour, with opportunities for overtime.
The Doddridge plant will be the company’s second plant. Its Hat Creek plant in Bossier City, La., opened in October 2017 and also provides sand to Louisiana and Texas fracking sites.
The 1,985-acre Doddridge site has about 1,200 acres suitable for mining operations.
The company will build four 5,000-ton silos to hold processed sand, with room to add two more if market demand exists.
■ Construction workers from Performance Proppants construct silos to house sand near Doddridge, Ark. The sand will be used in fracking, the process of forcing high pressure into the ground to reopen fissures to extract oil, gas and other minerals.